Friday, September 21, 2007

Is Playing The Powerball A Sin?

On the way into work this morning I drove by a billboard advertising the Powerball’s current jackpot value. Being that I’ve never understood the whole draw of it, and the fact that Mrs. Serviam! told me last night after reading the Yom Kippur post that I wasn’t allowed to post on anything too serious, too long, or too boring for a while, I thought the a post on the lottery would be a good idea.

The lottery has got to be the biggest scam in the history of mankind. And the fact that the jackpot can hit $300 million off of selling tickets for $1 each tells me that there is no shortage of chumps in Powerball land.

Ok, now that I’ve offended half of you, let me back my statement up with a little demonstration. According to the Powerball site, players have a 1 in 146,107,962 chance of “hitting it big”. Sure, most people understand that this number is big, but what do you expect for $300 million! But really how big is 146,107,962?

Take your average Bible (you knew I had to make some tie in) and page through it. The average bible has just under 750,000 words in it. Let’s say I left the room and asked you to page through the bible and select one of these words – just one. Now what are the odds that I pick the bible up, randomly open a page, and place my finger on the word you secretly selected? You guessed it, I would have a 1 in 750,000 chance of getting it right.

Obviously, the odds of this happening are pretty slim, but even these odds seem like a sure thing when compared to the odds of winning the Powerball. So, how would we have to tweak our situation above to reflect the Powerball odds? Easy, instead of choosing one word from one Bible, now your choosing one word from 195 Bibles. And with a Bible being about an inch thick, 195 Bibles stacked on top of each other would stand over 16 feet high! Maybe we could set up a booth at the Parish festival next year based on this model, hmmm….

And for all those out there thinking "come on, it's only a few bucks - it's entertainment!" I say the next time you think about spending a few bucks on some tickets, bring the money over to my house and I'll tell you a couple of jokes and sing you a song.

So is playing the Powerball a sin? Only if being stupid is. ;-)

1 comment:

swissmiss said...

For an even better deal, people can come over to my house and my son will sing them a song for free :)

I don't play the lottery, but my husband does once in awhile. With both of us being engineers, I always remind him of the odds and he just smiles and roles his eyes. Yes, he's a goof ball to waste money on this, but maybe...