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Lottery Simulator Proves You're Destined to Lose

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As that factory line worker from Pittsburgh holds that oversized check for $165 million high above his head, the local news reporter ends the feel-good fluff piece with, "What are the odds?" Actually, pretty friggin' slim. The odds of hitting six for six out of a choice of 49 numbers is one in nearly 14 million. You have a better chance of being drawn a royal flush, getting attacked by a shark, and dying in a tsunami.

And for the Mega Millions, the odds are stacked even higher. With 56 numbers for the pick-5 and 46 for the Mega ball, your odds of a clean sweep is one in 175,711,536. Even just clearing one Mega ball number for a $2 payout is one in $75.

The fact is: You gotta be a few numbers short of a Powerball to play the lottery as an investment. And to illustrate that, the folks at posted an online lottery simulator, using the gameplay and odds of Mega Millions. Using my birthday digits as well as those of my parents, I selected the maximum amount of chances: twice a week for ten years.

The result: "You played 1040 games of Mega Millions. It cost $1040. You won $117." And the highest single payout I had won was $10.

Still, it's hard to resist when the payout tops $200 million. How could you afford NOT to play?
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.