April 9, 2011

We normally only ever get to hear from the winners (see: survivorship bias). Imagine if that wasn’t the case:

Joe Bloggs was left pondering what might have been this morning, after missing out on last night’s Lotto Powerball jackpot.

Earlier in the week Joe made a special trip to the Pak N Save in the next town, where he decided to spend twice as much as he normally does.

“I normally get a $100 ticket, but with the jackpot this week I decided it was worth an extra investment”, he said.

“The Pak N Save is such a lucky store too”, added Joe, “They’ve sold three division two winners in the last three months, so I just can’t believe that it wasn’t to be for me this time.”

Store manager, Betty Bell, offered her commiserations, but was also left struggling for an explanation.

“We have a big sign by the checkout with photos of our previous big winners, and I know that people come from right around the region to buy their tickets here because of that. It’s sort of like a tourist attraction. So of course it’s just so disappointing for Joe and for us that we can’t add another happy face. It would have been huge news for the district.”, she commented sadly.

“We were literally run off our feet selling last-minute tickets yesterday”, she noted, “It’s just heart breaking to think that all of them are losers this morning.”

Joe’s misfortune is also bad news for some local charities.

“I had more or less decided what I would do with the money”, Joe said.

“Of course I would have paid off my mortgage first and got myself an expensive new car. But, what I was most looking forward to was helping my family and some local charities that I have always wanted to support. I just never have enough money left over at the end of each month to give them as much as I’d like”.

A spokesman from NZ Lotteries was also sorry to hear about Joe when contacted, but pointed out that 20c from every dollar Joe spent on Lotto is recycled back to the community eventually via grants.

Despite his misfortune, Joe is apparently not completely discouraged.

“I’m sure there will be another jackpot eventually, and I’ll probably play again then. I know the odds of winning are low, but when you read about those lucky people who win it’s impossible to not believe that it could be you next time.”