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Topic: You're more likely to die on your way to buy a lottery ticket than
you are to actually win the lottery.

Replies: 8   Last Post: Jun 4, 2011 3:33 PM

 Messages: [ Previous | Next ]
 Ronald Bruck Posts: 2,135 Registered: 12/6/04
Re: You're more likely to die on your way to buy a lottery ticket than you are to actually win the lottery.
Posted: Jun 4, 2011 3:33 PM

In article

> On Jun 1, 5:04 pm, Disc Magnet <discmag...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > I learnt this today.
> >
> > "You're more likely to die on your way to buy a lottery ticket than
> > you are to actually win the lottery."
> >
> > Is this true? Is there any statistics out with the number of people
> > who died on their way to buy a lottery.

>
> In the UK, there are about 30 million cars. On average, a car drives
> about 12,000 miles per year. And every year about 4,000 people die in
> traffic accidents. That means there is about one death in traffic
> accidents per 90 million miles driven. Your chance of winning the
> lottery with a single ticket is about one in 13 million. That means
> the chance that driving seven miles kills a person is about the same
> as the chance that buying one ticket makes you a lottery winner. There
> is of course the chance that you kill someone else, and the chance
> that you get killed on the way while not driving yourself, i guess
> that evens itself out. So if you drive seven miles to buy a single
> ticket, chances will be about equal. But many people will buy more
> than one ticket, and many will drive less than seven miles, so I
> suspect the statement is false. Reasonably close, but false.
>
> On the other hand, your chance of dying in a UK traffic accident this
> week is about (60 million citizens) / (4,000 accidents) * 52 weeks or
> the same chance to win the lottery.

Interesting order-of-magnitude calculation, but...

I buy my lottery tickets (more precisely, I DON'T buy them) at the 7-11
about a block away. I'm more likely to die of a heart attack than an
auto accident.

Anyway, I commute by train, not car. That should give me a big leg up,
according to your calculation. Hmmm... but I live in Chatsworth, where
22 people died in a train crash a couple of years ago (I was ON that
train, but got off at Chatsworth; the Metrolink met a freight train
head-on just AFTER Chatsworth). So maybe not.

The point being, there are many more ways to die than in a traffic
accident.

Another saying I've heard is that the Mafia used to pay off on its
numbers racket better than California pays off on its lottery. Sad, if
true; unfortunately, I don't know what the payoff was in that racket.

But of course, when the Proposition enabling the lottery was passed, it
included a provision that a certain percentage HAD to go to education,
and the legislature couldn't get around that by reducing the amount
paid to education. :-(

-- Ron Bruck

Date Subject Author
6/1/11 Disc Magnet
6/1/11 Porky Pig Jr
6/2/11 charles.kiss
6/2/11 Tim Little
6/2/11 fishfry
6/2/11 William Hughes
6/2/11 Jim Burns
6/2/11 gnasher729
6/4/11 Ronald Bruck