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Mom, I won the Lottery!!!

My Goals

Mom, I won the Lottery!!!

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“Wishful thinking is one thing, and reality another.” – Jalal Talabani

During my childhood l remember my aunt coming home with three lottery tickets. She gave me one of the tickets for me to fill in the numbers that l thought would win. She then promised me that if my ticket won she would buy for me anything l wanted. As l went to bed that night, l dreamt of all the toys l wanted. The possibilities were endless! I even thought of how my mom would react when l told her, “Mom, l won the lottery.” Sadly, like most lottery players this didn’t happen. My dreams were crushed when the draw was done and my numbers weren’t chosen.

In 2011, it was estimated that 73% of people who play the lottery earned less than R5000. Its further estimated that from these that 33% of them earn less than R1000. It seems that many play the lottery in the hope that when they win, they can solve their financial problems. By winning they can fulfill all their dreams of travelling the world, driving fast cars and living in a mansion. Few people who play the lottery ever stop to think what are the chances of winning. In other words, nobody ever stops to think about the reality of the situation. 

Related: Will you make millions from Bitcoin?

The aim of this article is to help anyone who wants to play the lottery, to realise the reality of the situation. So let’s say you have to choose 6 numbers from the numbers 1 to 52. This means you have twenty million, three hundred and fifty-eight thousand, five hundred and twenty different combinations of numbers to choose from. Yep! Implying you have 0.00000=49% chance of winning. In other words, one winning the lottery is almost impossible. In order for one to be guaranteed of winning the lottery one has to buy 20358520 tickets, all with the diffrent possible combinations of numbers. So if each ticket costs you R5 then you would need to spend about R102 million. Unless the prize money for getting the 6 numbers correct is more than this amount it will not be worth your time.  The best way l would explain how some one wins the Lotto is by sheer luck.


For every Lottery player l hope after reading this article you will think about the odds, and adjust your expectations. Also remember, there is noone who has ever reached the Forbes list of the Richest people in the world by winning the lottery.


Tinaye is a self taught forex trader. He holds an honours degree in mathematics and is currently pursuing a Financial Risk Management (FRM) qualification.

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