Great simulation from LA Times allows you to play multiple iterations of the PowerBall lottery to see how even small wins can’t hide the fact that ultimately you will LOSE!

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Here’s how it works: 

  1. Enter a number between 1-69 in each of the first five boxes under Pick your numbers. 
  2. Choose a number between 1-26 for the QUICK PICK number.
  3. Hit Play!
  4. Set a timer to see how long you last before your Balance goes to $0
  5. At the conclusion of the game, you will get a message like this:

You’re out of money. You’ve spent $175 playing the lottery and won $75 back. You’re in the hole $100. So why not throw some more money at that problem?”

Questions for students:

  • You are starting with $100. How much do you anticipate having after playing this lottery game dozens of times?
  • You started with $100. What was the highest balance that you had at ANY point during the game? Did you win any of the drawings?
  • What were your emotions during the game?
  • Why do you think the lottery is structured to pay out small prizes to large numbers of players?
  • Why do you think people play the lottery? Has this game changed your view of lotteries?


Interested in this interactive and want to teach your students more about the dangers of lotteries, check out the NGPF Lesson on Playing the Lottery