Over Christmas I played a game I almost never play: the lottery. I thought it would be fun to get a scratch off ticket from each state on our way from Georgia to Pennsylvania and see how much luck I could have.
Pictured above are the tickets that I still have because they didn't win any money for me. Not shown are the two tickets that did win. Of course I expected to lose money on the whole experiment, and that's exactly what happened. I also tried to get holiday-themed tickets, to make it more festive.
Here are some stats for you:
Overall stats: I paid $15 and won $3 of that back.
Georgia: $2 ticket; 1 in 4.21 odds, including breaking even.
South Carolina: $2 ticket. Won $2 back. 1 in 3.91 odds.
North Carolina: $2 ticket. 1 in 4.22 odds
Virginia: $1 ticket. 1 in 4.49 odds
West Virginia: $2 ticket. 1 in 4.35 odds.
Maryland: Two $1 tickets. 1 in 4.13 odds for losing ticket. Won $1 back on other ticket. I guess I was feeling lucky in MD.
Pennsylvania: $3 ticket. 1 in 3.98 odds. This one was the most fun (the big green one)
New Jersey: $1 ticket. Did not state the odds, but the website says "better than 1 in 5".
Obviously this is all fun and games, and I wasn't playing to win, I was playing to have fun. A good friend of mine calls the lottery the "stupid person" tax, and I whole-heartedly agree, because you're gonna lose in the long run no matter what happens. You just might get lucky, but don't count on it.