Top 5 Lottery Myths

News Myths

Lotteries attract a great deal of attention from the mainstream media. While there’s certainly a public appetite for lottery-related stories, the game can also be a bountiful source of information for lazy writers. Indeed hard-luck tales, rags-to-riches yarns and dubious playing tips are like editorial bile and gets regurgitated over and over again, week after week, year after year. And so it naturally follows that myths and untruths relating to lottery play tend to proliferate rather dramatically. Let’s take a look at some of the usual bilge that gets written.

Lotteries are a Form of Taxation

This particular fable can usually be attributed to paternalistic hand-wringers who think that the drooling masses need protecting from themselves. It is a fatally flawed line of thinking which often emanates from left-leaning ivory towers. The major difference between taxation and lottery play is this: Taxation is a compulsory state contribution that citizens have absolutely no option but to pay, unless of course they want to spend time behind bars. Buying a lottery ticket, on the other hand, is entirely voluntary. Let’s move on shall we?

Lotteries Encourage Gambling

Another fairy-tale here which posits that lotteries somehow encourage gambling. Unfortunately, a lack of any evidence to support this claim acts as the proverbial pin in the balloon. In fact, countless studies indicate that compulsive gamblers choose high-excitement games involving skill, sensory stimulation and immediate gratification. None of these elements are present in traditional lottery games.

Playing the Same Numbers Increases Your Chances of Winning

Many lottery players rely on this hopeless strategy to choose their numbers. But there is absolutely no mathematical evidence to indicate that picking the same numbers week after week will improve your chances of winning. In fact all lottery draws are completely independent of each other so there’s an equal chance of any given number being drawn.

Look for Hot and Cold Numbers

This is one of those myths that would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic. Yet every week millions of lottery players choose their numbers according to how many times they’ve come up previously. Known as the gambler’s fallacy, this ludicrous philosophy pervades most areas of gambling and is responsible for unimaginably high losses.

Lottery machines produce random numbers which means that each draw is unrelated to previous and subsequent iterations. While cursory research into historic lottery results would reveal that certain numbers do indeed appear more than others, the data set used to arrive at such a conclusion is far too narrow. A more thorough analysis of a far wider sample of data would reveal that there is absolutely no discernible pattern relating to hot and cold numbers.

Winning the Lottery Ruins Lives

There are plenty of horror stories about lottery winners who lost everything or ‘wished they’d never won’. But plenty of studies reveal that, for the most part, big lottery wins result in contentment and happiness once the initial ecstasy has worn off. The salacious mainstream media and their unhealthy yearning for hard-luck stories are largely responsible for the perpetuation of this particular falsehood.