Did you know that you have a higher chance of getting hit by a meteorite than winning a lottery? And no, it’s not a joke. According to NASA, the odds of a piece of space hitting your head are about 1 to 700,000. In comparison, your odds of winning a Powerball are 1 to 195 million. That puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?
And yet, despite these crushing numbers, thousands of people around the world regularly buy lottery tickets. The question is, what are the reasons which make us believe that we have any chance of turning a three-dollar ticket into a fortune?
Read on and understand why so many people play the lottery on a regular basis!
The first reason why there are so many lottery/gambling players is unrealistic optimism. People believe that even though the chance of winning is incredibly low, they will check loteria en linea website and get the prize of their dreams.
Our brains are incapable of comprehending extremely low odds. If your chances were 1 to 3, then sure, it’s easy to calculate that you have a 33 % chance of winning. But 1 to tens of millions? Even if the odds were 1 to 500 thousand, it would be extremely hard for your brain to estimate your likelihood of winning.
Most people prefer to focus on the possibility of winning, telling themselves that no matter how small the chance, they are destined to win.
Illusion of Control
People tend to believe that they have control over their chances of winning the lottery. After all, it is you who has to pick the numbers. Did you choose 6, and the winning number was 9? That was close; why don’t you try your luck next time?
This psychological experience has the gracious name of a “near miss.” It gives you an illusion that you’re getting closer every time you play the lottery, making you try over and over again. Some believe that near-misses enhance our increase to gamble and activate the same reward system as actual success.
And the closer you get, the more motivated you feel, believing fate is in your hands.
Winning is not necessarily the main reason why so many people play the lottery. It’s the sense of thrill and excitement every time you watch the draw with a lottery ticket in your hand.
You feel the adrenaline pumping through your veins while numbers are popping up on the screen. It doesn’t matter whether you win or not. It’s the experience that counts. That feeling connects very strongly to the first point of the article – unrealistic optimism. Deep down, you know you’re not going to win the lottery, but why not have some fun and play since there’s still a small chance?
The Gambler’s Fallacy
Although many people believe that playing the lottery is not gambling (it is), a lot of them fall into the so-called gambler’s fallacy. It’s a mistaken belief, where bettors are convinced that the outcome that hasn’t occurred for a while is “due” to appear soon.
A quick example. Imagine that number 13 hasn’t appeared for the last 30 Powerball draws. Because of the gambler’s fallacy, you believe that there’s a high chance it will occur in the next draw. It gives you an illusion of control over the utterly random drawing process, forcing you to buy more lottery tickets.
“It’s My Only Chance”
As mentioned before, while people realize that their odds are terribly low, winning the main prize is often too tempting. After all, who doesn’t want to be a millionaire?
People tend to believe that they won’t make a fortune conventionally, so they keep playing the lottery. They treat it as their only chance to earn millions, and the fact that a ticket costs $3 is even more encouraging.
The list of events that have a higher chance of happening than winning the Powerball or Mega Millions is incredibly long and includes such incidents as:
- Getting struck by the lightning
- Being eaten by a shark
- Being killed by the hoard of bees
- Dying on your birthday
Still, despite all of these reasons, people will continue to play the lottery. They will buy tickets, check the results, and dream about what they would do if they won the jackpot.
The bottom line is that lottery is a form of entertainment that relies on the human sense of hope. We know that the odds are against us, but we still believe that we have a chance to score a big win and use the fortune to improve our lives.