Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Lotteries are stupid just like voting

The argument goes that lotteries are stupid because you have a very low chance of winning. So low in fact that you are more likely to die before you win then to win.

This argument is weird because we are encouraged to do more difficult tasks where we are even less likely to affect the outcome. Voting in an election takes more effort and time then buying a lottery but your vote virtually never decides an election.

There has been one case of a single vote deciding the election of an Irish TD. In the 2002 Irish general election, Dan Neville won a seat in the parliament by just one vote. There have been an average of more then 150 td’s in Ireland in its 27 elections. Each TD represents at most 30,000 people but say 25,000. So 27 elections of 25,000 people is one out of 101,250,000 total votes decided an election. You might argue “But if no one voted there would be no point having an election?” Well if no one bought a lottery ticket the lottery would not keep running for long either.

So the chance of your vote being the deciding factor in an election is less then your chance of winning the euromillions lottery.

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