Thursday, 20 February 2014

What motivates people to play lottery!

The foremost tempting thing in playing a lottery is winning a big amount of money for investing into a small lottery ticket.  That’s like dreaming of a day with a perfect set of numbers that can change your life forever.

The reasons could be anything, family crisis or unexpected hospital bills to pay.  Perhaps you have lost your job or its not able to fulfill your dreams, however you'd love to pay subsequent fifty years lying on a beach with a glass full of wine in hand.


Your problem or dream can be any; but the offered jackpot of $600 million (or more) may fix all of them.  And that makes the entire world surprise once it comes to enjoying the lottery, as we all find our own kind of personal reason or motivation to play lottery.

Rescue fantasy (Money can solve all my problems) – Imagine, how a big bank balance can solve all our problems and give us freedom to enjoy the life at the fullest… probably such a feeling with a journey of shorter duration with perfect future, drives lottery players. This is a situation where oneself ‘got stuck’ and is willing to be rescued without losing the fight. 

In the name of excitement and entertainment – Even sometimes when people know, that it’s not going to happen and they are okay to just enjoy the beauty of this random game. Well, it’s a fun experience for someone, but the fact remains that people do play lotteries in abundance.  Ancient lotteries existed in China, Japan and India as mentioned several times in the literature.

Addiction (winning/playing) - Play many times to win once or again and again… researcher/economists are troubled by lotteries, but not for the reasons you might think.  What troubles them is why people so reliably make such obviously poor choices when playing lotteries?  The fact that lotteries are popular that leads to contradictions with economic rationality.
Bounded rationality takes into account the limitations of both knowledge and cognitive capacity.’ Bounded rationality forces us to look at actual decision-making and relax one or more assumptions of standard expected utility theory.

Ease of access – People makes decisions based on their expected utility and with all information disposable at hand.  This premise can be easily challenged – are people really stable about what they want?,  how do we know what is an optimal amount of information?  And in how many markets can people actually participate?  The way digitalization/technology is helping all of us and offering hurdle free gambling/playing experience, we play more, secure and quick.

In the love of lucky numbers/Faith testing – Due to the love of number games, many try lottery too and few times frequently to get lucky, this may be the results of past experience with a set of number or a strong gut feeling.

Still, to mention that spending on the lottery may be a dangerous idea; does not sit well with the experts of economics and psychology.  It serves a psychological function for people.  Our pleasure of living is not only based on our current situation, but what could be, what we can imagine our situation could become.

Irrational or not, millions still wait and watch for today’s lottery results on their communication or entertainment devices for a better tomorrow.

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