Schröedinger's Lottery TicketSubmitted by skrapmetal at 2012-11-27 09:49:20 EST
Rating: 0.62 on 10 ratings (23 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
The lottery is far and away the best entertainment value there is. I like the Powerball Lottery. It's a multi-State lottery with drawings twice a week. The minimum jackpot is $4M, and there are plenty of lesser pizes for matching fewer numbers. If there's no jackpot winner, it rolls over. This drawing, on Wednesday, has rolled over enough to become a record-high $425M. You can buy your Powerball ticket for $2 on Sunday or Thursday, and then you get to dream about what you'll do with the money for two or three days until you find out you've lost. You have to admit that $2 for three days positive mental distraction is a pretty good deal. But is there even more that can be extracted from this $2 investment? I submit that there is.
If you're experienced in not winning the lottery, as I am because like a moron I play it twice every week, you can even get all Schröedinger on it and wait a few more days before checking your ticket. If there was a winner of the jackpot, as there often is, it might be you. Probably not, of course, but it MIGHT be you. Until you actually know that the numbers on your ticket aren't the same as the numbers that were drawn, you exist between your normal condition and that of being fabulously well-to-do. Until you check the numbers, you occupy both realities. In one reality you're happy to see a three-digit balance in your bank account at the end of the month, and in the other, a three-digit bill for lunch doesn't bother you at all. Which reality is real? Both and neither, until you look at the numbers.
I am a pröfessional lottery not-winner. I have lottery tickets in my wallet that are almost a year old, that I have not checked. Some of them were for drawings that had jackpot winners. I might be one of those millionaire winners. Probably not, but I MIGHT be. I have Schröedinger's Lottery ticket, several times over. "Wait a year to check a lottery ticket? That's stupid. Why wouldn't you want the money right away?" you say. Well, I'll tell you. The odds of winning anything in the lottery, let alone the jackpot, are pretty small. That's why the winners get a ton of cash and the educational systems of the States involved in Powerball get some cash too. But there is a way to guarantee you'll win something with every ticket, and that way is what I have described above - using the Lottery as an entertainment device. You're paying $2 for the pleasant distraction. By not checking the tickets I'm extending that distraction and getting a better value. Like I said, I am a pröfessional.
Of course, going over a year would be stupid. The tickets are no good after a year, so even a winning ticket would be valueless to redeem for the prize and thus it is of no value as a prize-amount distraction either. So once they get close to a year old, I check them, toss out the non-winners, and take any winners to the grocery with me to get my free tickets or $4 prizes or whatever. Most often, of course, it's 'nothing'. I still have the distraction, though, and it continues.
Tomorrow's drawing is $425M. I've got my ticket, and if there is a winner I will do my best to not check to see if it was me for a few weeks at least. What about you? Can you occupy both ordinary and disgustingly rich realities? Can you buy Schröedinger's Lottery Ticket?