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The odds make no sense. But then again, you could consider playing the lottery a "black swan" investment.
The Mega Millions lottery jackpot is now up to $640 million (the "cash option" is $462 million). That's...$420 million more than than last time I reposted on why you should or shouldn't play the lottery, earlier this month. (And that was $100 million more than the time I wrote the original post.) The nation — at least the parts where you can play Mega Millions — is in a frenzy. "The Patt Morrison Show" did segment today on how to deal with the many millions you'll win if you pull the winning ticket.
Soooo...I'm reposting this for the third time, just in case you're on the fence about buying a ticket for tonight's drawing:
The California lottery's Mega Millions jackpot is up to $100 million [Ed: Man, DeBord, that was chump change!] (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?