Mega Millions

Cockerham's Lottery Simulator

by Stephen Von Worley on September 28, 2010

The lottery is evil – or so they say! To illustrate, Rob Cockerham created his “Incredibly Depressing” Mega Millions simulator, which allows you to surf the waves of probability without risking your precious dinero:

Cockerham's Mega Millions Simulator

I gave it a whirl and lost my virtual shirt. After 1040 plays – one dollar twice a week for ten years – I’d won back a grand total of $85.

Then, I noticed this little nugget at the bottom of the results page:

In the 986630 times this simulation has run, players have won $2607466
And by won I mean they have won back $2607466 of the $986630 they spent (264%).

Wow! At that rate of return – 164% – you can start with a dollar, play the Lottery fifteen times, and end up a millionaire!

So, please excuse me while I cash out the 401k and jog over to Jiffy Mart to make a real investment…

Update: As of noon 9/29, Rob has corrected the algorithmic faux pas and exposed the truly-paltry payout of Mega Millions!

[via Boing Boing]

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