WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Do you play the lottery every week? Consider these odds

Posted August 27, 2013


Do you imagine a life of leisure every time you buy a lottery ticket? Do you actually know anyone who has ever won any substantial amount playing the lottery? Here are a few numbers to consider before you spend another dollar of your hard-earned money on a 1 in 175 million dollar Powerball jackpot.

According to an article from, your chances of winning that multi-million dollar jackpot are about 1 in 175 million.   Apparently you are more likely to win an Academy Award than a Powerball jackpot!

The article indicates that people continue to play the lottery, even with the remote odds of ever winning anything big, because they can't really grasp how incredibly unlikely it is that they will ever win.

What I really like about this article is that it goes on to show how much you would save after 20, 30, 40 and 50 years if you simply put that $5 for the lottery in the bank instead. After 50 years, you would have $91,250. That's a hefty sum, but it gets even better with just a 1.4% return: $132.711!

AND if you are lucky enough to realize a 10% return on that money, you could have $2,336,546 after 50 years!

For all the figures and a little more psychology about why people play the lottery despite the odds, go to

Do you play the lottery often, just here and there or never? Have you ever won big?


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • snowl Aug 28, 2013

    I have never purchased or smoked even 1 cigarette. That has saved me thousands of dollars in my lifetime, and it has kept me looking and feeling younger. The lottery is much better for you, so don't knock it, just play responsibly, because you cannot win if you do not play.

  • ThomasG Aug 27, 2013

    I play occassionally - only powerball and/or mega millions when jackpot is over $150 million - a few scratch-off tickets maybe 2 or 3 times a year . I have won way more than I have spent on the tickets . I save 50% off the top ; donate 25%; and use most of the rest for something fun and/or special - usually for someone special.

  • david46 Aug 27, 2013

    The lottery is nothing but a tax on stupid people. I have never seen a coat and tie in a convenience store buying a lottery ticket.

  • jdouglas13 Aug 27, 2013

    My grandmother was always good at winning stuff from lottery tickets, to money giveaways, to cakes, but I did not inherit her abilities. Because I never won, it became old really fast for me. I'm grateful too -- I have enough money problems without adding gambling to the mix! :p

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper Aug 27, 2013

    heremeaj - I love your "coupon math" vs "lottery math" comparison. And you know I agree, of course! :-)

  • beths Aug 27, 2013

    Never played. Years ago, I went on a cruise and played the slots, but after loosing $5, I stopped and have never gambled since. I've never understood how someone could risk the money they worked for on a gamble. I'm too much of a penny-pincher!!

  • heremeaj Aug 27, 2013

    Nakabi, the prints will be on the way to you tomorrow!! I am glad they have Palermos in TN so all is not lost

  • heremeaj Aug 27, 2013

    Ok, I have to admit that I have bought Bingo tickets in the past at church events and had a blast whether I won or lost so in fact I have gambled just under a steeple and not from a zippy mart! But I readily admit that I like the "coupon math" of saving better than the "lottery math" of losing that money...

  • meredith88 Aug 27, 2013

    I have never bought a lottery ticket or gambled in any way. Like quemaster, I view it as entertainmant. If I went to Vegas I'm sure I would play the slot machines a few times just for fun but I'd have a set limit to spend and when it's gone, it's gone. I'm also sure that one day I'll buy a lotto ticket so that I can say I have done it but I'll just wait until the mood strikes one day and I want to do it. Until then I'm happy putting that money into savings :)

  • hadiyahr Aug 27, 2013

    I play every once in awhile mostly scratch offs. I have won several times the one I remember the most is a $2 scratch off I won $500 bucks.