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The Psychology Of Lotteries

https://www.wired.com/2011/02/the-psychology-of-lotteries/

wired.com

The Psychology Of Lotteries
Why do people play the lottery? On the one hand, the answer is obvious enough: We're happy to spend $3 for approximately 15 seconds of irrational hope, for the pleasure of thinking about what might happen if we'd suddenly won millions of dollars.

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Lotteries

Lotteries

The lottery is cheap permission to dream about the possibility of a better life. Most players know they won't win. 

People without lots of money are more likely to participate in lotteries. On average, households that make less than $12,400 a year spend 5 % of their income on state lotteries, making it a deeply regressive tax.

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More likely to buy tickets

In an experiment, low-income participants were more likely to purchase lottery tickets when they felt that their income was low compared to a perceived standard. 

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The loop

Government-run lotteries appeal to poor people. This causes them to spend a disproportionate amount of their income on lotteries, which contributes to them being poor, which keeps them buying tickets.

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Changing the lottery system

There is clearly a demand for playing the lottery. But low-income people spend more of their income on the lottery than other income groups.

  • A solution would be to stop marketing and advertising lotteries that target the poor.
  • States could promote and offer more games that appeal to wealthier players.
  • Financial institutions could issue investment instruments that have lottery-like qualities.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Winning A Lottery

Winning A Lottery

Human beings are not wired to grasp the concept of probability. A chance of winning a lottery, sometimes 1 in 175 million, is not something that bothers us.

The Lottery ti...

The Steady Appeal of The Lottery

The steady appeal of the lottery is due to various psychological tricks by the marketers: suspension of logic and reason and the dreams that it sells.

Using the variable rewards concept of psychology, the marketers ensure that people keep buying their tickets for years, by introducing smaller wins with much better odds. This helped lottery buyers experience the thrill of a win.

Playing the Lottery for Entertainment

The odds to win are so small that winning does not even feature in our decision matrix of buying a ticket. The game of lottery isn’t played on logic, or for investment, but for entertainment.

For as little as two dollars, a person dreams of getting a chance to win thousands of dollars, and that dream is worth the price of the ticket. The bigger the jackpot is, the more the dreams are fed.

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Deep Play

The End of Work in the coming decades may give way to the rise of 'Deep Play', elaborate virtual reality games mixed with religion, consumerism and other ideologies.

Money And Happiness

The debate about how material belongings can get in the way of our happiness dates back hundreds of years:

  • The Buddha talked about a balance between asceticism and pleasure.

The Hedonic Treadmill

The things we buy might make us happy in the moment, but that feeling fades away over time. This phenomenon is called the “hedonic treadmill."

We get used to things that we have, and when new, more attractive things catch our eye, we feel like we need to keep getting more stuff to maintain those feelings.

Money: Happiness Vs Misery

  • Happiness is a really difficult topic to study, because it’s subjective, unstable, and intangible.
  • Affluence has a certain impact on our well-being when it comes to satisfying our basic needs and standard of living, but in general, research shows that it is a weak predictor of happiness.
  • Researchers agree on is this: there are ways to spend our money that are more likely to elicit joy.