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:
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]