From the news wire this morning:

The Powerball jackpot has reached a billion dollars after there was no grand prize winner in Monday night's big drawing.  The cash option on that works out to nearly 517-million dollars.  Last night's drawing did make million-dollar winners out of players in five states.  Three lucky tickets worth two million were sold in Georgia, Arkansas and Texas.  Meanwhile, Tuesday night's Mega Millions drawing is also through the roof with 640-million dollars up for grabs.  No one has won the jackpot in the multi-state lottery since April.  Winning numbers will be drawn at 9 p.m.

It's a form of gambling, I suppose. Buy a ticket, get a chance at winning big bucks.

I have never bought a lottery ticket. And I don't think it's because I don't like gambling. I think the bigger reason is that I believe it's a big waste of money.

The very reason it's a huge news story is what makes me believe it's a waste. No one, despite millions of tickets sold, has won either of the lotteries in months.

Let's put it in perspective. The odds of winning the national "Mega Millions" lottery are about 1 in 176 million.

You're much more likely to:

  • Experience a bathroom injury (1 in 5 million)
  • Get struck by lightning (1 in 1,200,000)
  • Die by shark attack (1 in 25 million)
  • Dying in a tornado (1 in 13 million)
  • Being killed by a television (falling TVs kill hundreds of people every year)
  • Create a perfect March Madness bracket (OK, that one is not true, the perfect bracket only comes along once every 1.6 billion entries).

So go ahead, drive to Beaver Dam or Littlefield and get that lottery ticket. I think I'll keep money and watch out for those falling TVs.

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