Lotteries: a ‘tax on stupidity’ or something more?
Recently, scientists indulged themselves in the world of lotteries. They researched the behaviour of lottery winners and came to some interesting numbers. For example, which numbers given you the highest winning chances? Read the following article to know!
Which numbers are out of the question?
Winning the lottery all comes down to having the correct numbers. Try to avoid popular numbers as much as possible. So 1,7, 13, 23, 32, 42 and 48 cannot be on your list. British lottery history shows that 133 won the Jackpot of the English lottery in 1995. These numbers could all be found in the central column of the lottery form. They simply appear to much. It’s a better idea to pick the numbers 26, 34, 44, 45 and 46. Did you know that the number 1 can be found on 15 percent of all the lottery forms?
Only participate in small lotteries
If you like to win a nice amount of money, or perhaps even the Jackpot, it’s a good idea to participate in relatively small lotteries. If the government organizes the lottery, your winning chances are even better. Also look for a Jackpot that hasn’t fallen several times already. We know that you like to win a lot, but the best Jackpots are often worth less than thirty million euros. If this is the case, there’s a bigger chance that every euro or penny you invest will become worth more than a euro in the long run.
‘The Undercover Economist’ makes a calculation
Perhaps you’ve heard of Tim Harford. He has earned the nickname ‘The Undercover Economist’ because his calculations of winning the lottery are very interesting. After thorough research he concludes that if someone plays in the lottery with the same numbers twice a week with 14 million possible combinations, he or she will only win once in every seven million rounds! The truth is that you need 67.000 years, with a guaranteed success of 135.000 years in total. Mathematicians even say that the number of years you need for guaranteed success when playing twice a week is about 100.000 years.
Little sympathy for lotteries
Tim Harford loves irony, this becomes clear when he gives advice to lottery players: ‘Choose your own numbers, but don’t submit the form. You’ll be the winner almost every week. And the fear that your numbers will eventually be the winning combination will give you an adrenaline rush like nothing else!’ Harford is not the only researcher who has little sympathy for lotteries. The Belgian economist Geert Noels once wrote a column in which he called the lotto ‘a tax on stupidity’. He made this statement in 2006, and still thinks this way in 2019.
‘A tax on stupidity’
According to Noels, his famous statement in 2006 is not even his own invention. He based it on a poem written by novelist and dramatist Henry Fielding in 1832. ‘A lottery is a taxation, upon all the fools in creation’ is the now famous text. Although Noels didn’t invent the statement ‘lottery is a tax on stupidity’, he says that it has always been the case. Lottery players simply ignore mathematics and only believe in themselves and chance. Noels is against games of chance of lotteries that are based on misinformation. If you only pay out fifty percent of the taxes, that’s not fair. The economist says that if he spends 100 euros in the lottery, he will lose most of it. What’s more: ‘if you tell me how many numbers there are and how many numbers the lottery draws, I can even calculate my own winning chances’, Noels concludes.