A lottery is an inherently dishonest form of betting which involves the random drawing of specific numbers for an award. While some governments ban lottery outright, others endorse it as much as possible, sometimes going as far as to organize a national or international lottery. It is also common to see some level of regulation of lottery law by most governments.
The “expected utility theory” explains why people play lotteries. According to this theory, lottery players anticipate the payout they are going to get by betting on a specific lot number. If instead of playing a lottery based on probability and “cards” selected at random, a player would bet on a lottery because he or she “hoped” for the number drawn. If this sounds implausible, think of the “hot” (aka “expected”) lottery numbers you can buy in the store: do you think anyone is going to buy those? That’s because they’re “obviously” not the ones the store wants to sell – so the expenditure of buying these numbers adds up to be a waste, but since it doesn’t cost the retailer anything, and since the player isn’t expected to pay out anyway, it’s perfectly legal means of making money.
The “expected utility theory” also predicts the effects of lottery spending on the individual in question. What this means is that a person who plays a lot of lotteries will experience a decrease in the value of his or her regular wages over time. This decrease is, of course, completely arbitrary, since there is no mathematical formula to say when it becomes negative. However, this predicted decrease is entirely plausible in the real world. In fact, this predicted decrease can sometimes be mathematically justified if the individual has been irresponsible in the way he or she played the lottery, especially if the person has been a longstanding poor lottery player.
Now, suppose you won a lottery game, and then decided not to play another lotto game for several months. You would probably realize that your earnings from the previous lotto game had now dropped to almost nothing. Would it follow that the probability of you winning again in the future would drop as well? This is why I said in the previous paragraph that the expected utility of winning a lottery game is completely random. You would have a hard time justifying a drop in winnings from your prior lotto winnings, because that loss would not be statistically possible, and therefore it could happen, and it would happen to everyone else who has consistently won the lottery over the years.
Now, if you are a player who goes into the lottery thinking you are going to win big and play like you’ve never seen before, then you better at least know how to play your lottery game right. There is no point in going into the lottery with the attitude that you are going to be a millionaire tomorrow because you’ve picked numbers that are obviously “hot.” You’ll probably wind up being broke even before you get your chance to cash in your tickets. If you want to make a profit from the lottery, you have to know your numbers and do your math. The only way to do that is if you know a little bit about probability and statistics, and a lot about how to play the lottery.
Statistics can give you information on how likely something is to occur. Probability is an unpredictable thing. What that means is that there is no way to tell exactly what will happen in any given situation. You must also realize that you can lose all your money in just one roll of the dice. But by knowing what kind of odds are involved when you play the lottery, you will have a better idea of how much money you should bet, and this will help you decide whether or not you should play and win, or whether you should just play it safe and hope that you will hit.