The Powerball Lottery is at 245 million, quite a hefty figure. However in the poorest parts of the grand ol United States the lottery is both a tax and a shred of hope for the hopeless. To put this into perspective imagine for a moment you're an older person. Your education is over and probably won't help get a job. In North Philadelphia the end of your life is a world surrounded by violence. You barely have enough money to get by and life is generally depressing. You value your friends and those around you and seek joy and comfort in them.
The lottery acts as a hopeful yet unlikely thing. It promises to break the shackles of poverty and set you free. It promises to make all of your wildest dreams come true. If you play daily it even rewards you from time to time. It lets you taste it's fruit while not allowing you a bite. It calls to you and says one more play, give me one more dollar and I'll promise you riches. People line up sometimes around the block around lotto vendors. The poor are desperate for hope even in the richest country in the world. Some waste money they need for their own survival on it expecting massive returns.
Personally, I still play the lottery. Only when it's at massive jackpots to justify the loss of a dollar. The winnings would satisfy my debts, I would attempt to finish my degree without fear. I would push as hard as I could to accomplish what I can. A mentor of mine once taught me that the empires of old succeeded because they didn't have to worry about their personal well being. In my case the same is true, I'm fairly certain getting a doctoral degree would be worlds easier if I didn't have to worry about eviction every month and was not living paycheck to paycheck. I also will keep my vow to change the hellhole I came from into a proper, fluid, and successful place I can be proud of.
But, knowing my math means I know the chances of winning are beyond zero.
I will die hoping to accomplish all that I can.