Showing the odds

Lottery simulator underlines the slim pickings from this form of gambling

Software developer Rob Cockerham of has come up with a novel Mega Millions lottery simulator that shows the very long odds on winning.

One user of the simulator said that playing twice a week, every week for the next decade, it took that long to earn $93 for an outlay of $1 040. Another reported: "I played 1 040 games of Mega Millions. I spent $1 040. I won $117."

Yet another revealed: "In the 191,904 times this simulation has run, players have won $19,126. And by won I mean they have won back $19,126 of the $191,904 they spent".

The simulator allows players to insert their favorite numbers either once, for a year, or for 10 years to find out how much, or rather how little is likely to be won.

Reaction to the odds has ranged from the usual and disparaging "...lotteries are for people who can't do math" to the more hopeful and idealistic: "People who play lotteries don't think like this. Wins come from magic and karma and dream prophecy and your pathetic "simulation" doesn't take those factors into account."

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