Many people, including myself, have day dreamed of the financial windfall that comes from a lottery win. I have had many acquaintances tell me all about their planned purchases and vacation plans following their upcoming lottery jackpot.
While the largest lottery jackpots often attract the most entries, they often have the longest odds. But with numbers this size, it can be hard to wrap your head around the odds, and know which games offer the best chances of winning.
I should note that of all the people that have expressed in detail how they plan on spending their millions, every one of them is still waiting for that day.
Understanding the Odds
According to USC mathematics professor Kenneth Alexander, it does not make financial sense to play the lottery.
He explains that people who play should use it as entertainment only, spending the $2 to get that feeling that you could hypothetically win. The odds are against you that you’ll actually win, but plenty of lottery fans are willing to spend $2 on the fantasy.
But if you are going to play, what are the odds?
If you play the Powerball lottery, you’ll need to match five numbers plus the Powerball to win the jackpot. The odds of scooping the grand prize are 1 in 292,201,338.
The overall odds of winning a prize are 1 in 24.87, so for smaller cash