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Why We Keep Playing the Lottery

Stashed in: Addiction, Awesome, Math!, Psychology!, Psychology, I've made a huge mistake., Oxytocin, Lottery

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We keep playing the lottery because we are (collectively) bad at math.

Dopamine, man.  It's always about the dopamine.

The dopamine that comes from buying the ticket?

Or the dopamine that comes from thinking about winning?

"Someone's Gotta Win" was a very successful lottery slogan.  Here are some more:

So it's the triumph of hope over reason?

Well said, exactly.

I think another factor is Illusory Superiority:

We all think we're more likely to win than everyone else.

I always thought Illusory Superiority is that everyone thinks they're a better than average driver.

It's not an illusion if it's true.

I've heard people say, "Yeah, the odds are small ... but what if you win?"

The odds aren't small.

The odds are so ridiculously infinitesimal that your chances of winning in 100 lifetimes isn't good.

Plus, money does not correlate with happiness. Plenty of lottery winners are miserable.

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