Every once in awhile a new site will pop up and add to Lazy Man and Money from their blogroll. I'm a little obsessive about checking my Technorati page to see who is linking to me. Yesterday, I noticed that Money Millionaire was one such site.
While the theme isn't exactly what I would choose they wrote about becoming a millionaire by gambling. I was pleased that they weren't advocating the idea. In the Hall of Fame of Bad Ideas, gambling to get rich was a unanimously voted in on the first ballot. With that said it got me thinking. If you were going to allot some money to gambling in an attempt to win, how might you best do it... again considering there is no good way.
I first went to roulette. It's an easy game that most people understand. Plus it has that fantastic hypnotic spinning wheel. There are many different best to go with roulette, but as I understand them, the odds are more or less the same with all of them. If I were there, I'd pick one number and hope that it lands on it. If it does, you win 35 times the amount you spent. So in order for me to win 1.5M (let's call it a million after taxes even if that's not the case), you'd have to hit the number exactly 4 times in a row. Since the probability of winning one time is 2.63% your odds of winning four times are are 1 in 2,092,050 (someone feel free to check my math there).
Another way to gamble is the lottery. Powerball is popular lottery in a few states. It's tough to calculate the same odds with lotteries because the jackpot are always different. However, this site has the math that shows your odds are 1 in 146,107,962. That's a little bit worse that roulette isn't it? The good news is that you'll make more if you are that lucky. It's just that you won't make enough, and you could be in real trouble if someone is lucky when you are lucky because then you'll have to split the jackpot.
This is all to say that in general the house odds for a casino are better than lottery. If you were thinking of buying a lottery ticket, you might want to consider the casino. It's rare that go to the casino, but when I do I find that I have more fun than if I just played the lottery - it's simply a prolonged experience. The downside with the casino is that your money may or may not help out the state as much as the state's own lottery. States make a lot of money off of lotteries and that money funds schools and repair roads.
Lastly, please remember, gambling is for entertainment. It is not an investment.
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