Another Mega Millions has come and gone, and it’s safe to say you probably didn’t win (well, we sure didn’t). But while two lucky folks in California and Georgia are counting their combined fortune of $636 million, experts are pondering what makes people play the lotto in the first place, despite their incredibly poor odds of winning.
While it may seem backwards to spend money on lottery tickets when money is tight, psychologists say that during tough economic times, playing the lotto can actually ease financial fears by providing a glimmer of hope for a better future. Some people buy a ticket because of “anticipated regret,” i.e. fear of not playing and missing their chance at the big bucks.
And then there’s the fact that the average person just can’t wrap their mind around the concept of probability. Good thing, considering your odds of winning the Mega Millions are about one in a bazillion.