I still play the lottery

I used to not play the lottery unless the jackpot was over $100 Million. Even then, I would only buy one ticket if I remembered to stop at the store on the way home. I don't do that anymore. Now I have automated my lottery ticket purchases u...

4 months ago, comments: 0, votes: 12, reward: $0.03

I used to not play the lottery unless the jackpot was over $100 Million. Even then, I would only buy one ticket if I remembered to stop at the store on the way home. I don't do that anymore. Now I have automated my lottery ticket purchases using an app called Jackpocket.

Jackpocket allows you to set up automatic lottery ticket purchases. Currently, I have it set to buy Texas Lotto, which has better odds and lower jackpots. It is set to buy the same numbers every play. I also buy the Extra option, which increases the prize when I match a few numbers. That is $2 per play, or $4 per week. It picks the same numbers for every play. I have won a lower prize once when some of the numbers matched. It would have been a larger prize if I had the Extra.

I also have Jackpocket set to buy the Mega Millions tickets when the jackpot goes over $100 Million. This ticket gets a megaplier. Thus, it is $3 per play, or $6 per week. The numbers I use for Mega Millions are the same numbers I use for Texas Lotto.

Finally, Jackpocket also offers a pool feature where people can collectively buy tickets and share the prizes. Pools consistently win something. Thus far, my pool purchases have won an average of less than $1 once the prize gets split up among participants. I don't buy pool tickets too often, only when the jackpot is over $200 Million.

Playing this way automatically keeps the whole thing out of mind. I've been surprised a couple of times when I have won something. I only find out when I check my cash balance to top up and notice that it is higher than expected.

I know the odds of winning the lottery are stacked against me, mathematically. Yet, somebody wins eventually. And my chance of winning is zero if I don't play. In addition, there are lower prizes that I am more likely to win. Sure, winning the jackpot would be nice. However, the smaller prizes would be just as much fun to win. It's a small risk with potentially huge rewards.

In total, my lottery playing cost is between $200 and $350 per year. This is much less than what I spend on beer. With automation, it brings pleasant surprises from time to time.

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