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?

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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