A still from the TV series, The Flash, the story of a man who was struck by lightning and gained superpowers, but still did not win Lotto.
A still from the TV series, The Flash, the story of a man who was struck by lightning and gained superpowers, but still did not win Lotto.

OPINION: Win Lotto or gain super powers? Both seem unlikely

THE Tuesday lottery passed the $20 million mark last week so, like millions of others, I dutifully trotted out and bought a ticket.

Every time I buy one of these things I end up wondering why I do it.

You often hear people comparing the chances of winning one of the big lotteries to the chances of being struck by lightning.

Really, a closer estimate would probably be to compare it to the odds of being struck by lightning and developing super powers as a result.

Okay, granted I have heard of little old ladies becoming unexpectedly hugely wealthy with a cheapie Lotto ticket and a dump-truck full of luck, but I have yet to hear of anyone being struck by lightning and developing super speed.

The point, though, is, to my very great and ongoing frustration, the odds that I actually won $25 million with my little quick-pick last night are so vanishingly remote they might as well not exist at all.

So why do I buy them, even occasionally? I'm not a gambler - the idea of frittering money away at a poker machine or a blackjack table fills me with a bizarre combination of boredom and dread.

Perhaps it's about buying hope and a daydream that I could suddenly graduate to a world where money doesn't matter any more; where the thought of the next electricity bill doesn't cause me stress, where I can splash out hundreds of dollars on music lessons, dance lessons, horse riding lessons, or any of the other depressingly expensive activities my kids regularly petition me for.

It's a dream of financial escape, that is clearly shared by many.

Still, given the choice and all things being equal, I'd still probably prefer to be given super powers by a lightning strike.



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