American in Spain

Lottery for a Year

January 3, 2008
ONCE Ticket - 2008-01-04

To my future therapist reading this, January 2008 was when my gambling problem started.

I must be stupid, too rich, or bored or something because I've decided to do something very inadvisable. As a personal project, I'm going to play the lottery every week this calendar year. It truly astounds me the number of people that play the lottery each day in Spain, and many other wealthy "first world" nations. Lottery plays on the same basic fallacy of human reasoning that makes people afraid of terrorist attacks or plane crashes. I can't really explain why I'm doing this experiment other than to demonstrate empirically how silly playing the lottery really is. I've created a special page on this blog to track the progress of my efforts, so that you, my beloved readers, can anxiously check back every Friday and see if I can quit my day job and start building my robot army to rule the world buy a yacht yet.

Lottery Year

In case you think I don't know what I'm getting into, check out the link above and see that, at the risk of exposing my true geekiness, I've actually enumerated every outcome and calculated all the Bayesian probabilities for each. Let's just say the outlook is bleak.

ONCE Ticket - 2008-01-04

These are my first two tickets that won't make me rich tomorrow.