It Just Got Twice as Expensive to Be Poor and Stupid
I just read an article on Yahoo! that the price of Powerball tickets is set to double on January 15th. As many have already discussed, including me, lottery tickets are a foolish investment that disproportionately affects the poor. Your chances of winning are miniscule. However, according the to article I read, the odds are getting better:
Odds of winning are improving because of changes the game is making in the numbers players can choose. The number of Power Ball numbers to choose from will decrease from 39 to 35. That will raise the odds of winning from 1 in 192 million to 1 in 175 million.
Oh, well if my odds are now up to 1 in 175 million count me…out. Let's get this straight, you're going to increase the price of a ticket by 100% but increase my odds of winning by less than 10%. For that kind of change to be appealing, you've got to be stupid. Of course, the lottery officials wouldn't be making this change if there wasn't strong data to support it.
What do you think? Does the new Powerball hold more appeal for you? What about when the NPV on your investment in a ticket turns positive when the jackpot is high?