A little after I turned 18, I bought a lottery ticket. In the intervening 24 years, I haven’t spent a single dollar gambling. Once you understand the math, gambling with money is right up there with drinking poison instead of orange juice for breakfast on the scale of things that just don’t make sense.
For those who don’t quite understand the math or who can’t help that intuition that they might just get lucky, there’s the Incredibly Depressing Mega Millions Lottery Simulator. Pick 5 numbers, how many times you want to play, and just see how much you will win (or more likely lose).
Frankly, though, I don’t find that depressing at all. What I do find depressing is how the local news stations all promote scams like the Lotto or Mega Millions that entice people to get involved in gambling and sell the illusory dream of instant riches. Just once, I’d like to see the local news include a piece effectively illustrating what a sucker’s bet lotteries are.