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Trackback: Is the California lottery's $200 million jackpot worth a shot?

Courtesy of the California Lottery

The jackpot for the Mega-Millions jackpot is now $200 million, and there's a drawing on Friday. This probably has lots of folks out there asking themselves, "Should I buy a ticket?" I tackled this question last December, and I haven't changed my thinking. So I'm reposting — and pointing out that the jackpot is TWICE as big now:

The California lottery's Mega Millions jackpot is up to $100 million (Mega-Millions is actually a multi-state lottery, an aggregate of 42 lotteries). That's a pretty nice chunk of change and should bring out many more players, even infrequent ones — and even ones who never play. What we're talking about here are the people who understand the odds against winning. So why would they change their minds, simply because the jackpot has crossed a threshold?

For starters, you have to understand why these folks don't play. The site Strange Loops explains:

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