The Most Convincing Numerical Reason to buy a Powerball Ticket (In Addition to the Amount of the Jackpot)

 

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With the most recent Powerball $1.6 billion jackpot, all sorts of numbers have been thrown around in news reports. The newscasters say you have the same percentage chance of winning the lottery as you do becoming president of the U.S., getting hit by lightning, and attacked by a shark, combined. The odds are one in 292 million.

I have always scoffed at entering the lottery in the belief that such activities are for the mathematically illiterate. But it got me this time. The jackpot was too large to ignore.

I bought two tickets’ worth of numbers for last week’s drawing, and one ticket for this week’s based on the most compelling percentage of all: You have a 100 percent chance of NOT winning the lottery if you don’t enter.

Sigh. I didn’t win, though.

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