One of the UK’s National Lottery games is called

A while agone I mentioned how those who criticize people who enter the National Lottery as stupid individuals that don’t perceive chance miss the purpose, as a result of it is a comparatively low investment you can forget about, in return for quite a heap of pleasure occasionally when you do win something.

We can conjointly use the mechanism of a lottery to explore how human beings get their gratification.


The player has to choose 5 numbers between 1 and 39, and the sixth number between 1 and 14. the utmost prize for matching all six is £500,000, whereas you get £3 for simply matching the Thunderball.

Imagine 2 strategies, each costing £14. One is to play the same set of numbers each week for 14 weeks. the opposite is to play 14 lines on one night, using all the numbers between 1 and 39, shuffled, to populate the first 5 (you would need to do this nearly twice), and serial numbers from 1 to 14 as the Thunderball.

Most people, I think would prefer to have 1 go a week for 14 weeks, rather than blow it all on one week. nonetheless, the second strategy is that the higher of the 2 in terms of being absolute to win. both strategies have the identical likelihood of winning the jackpot. but the second strategy ensures you win a minimum of £3, and that you’re bound to match at least 5 of your numbers. the first strategy might go through the complete 14 weeks and ne’er have one match. (Admittedly, it’s slightly a lot of complicated than this, as in theory with the primary strategy you may win 14 times, wherever with the second, your most range of wins is probably going to be three. however, the fact remains that one may be a certainty and therefore the difference is not.)

What this shows, I think, is that the primary enjoyment worth of the lottery is anticipation. the primary strategy provides you 14 nights once you could be a winner. (‘It could be you!’ as the slogan goes.) The second strategy solely gives you one night. therefore even supposing the chances of winning one thing square measure higher, it’ll tend to be less attractive.