Hearing about statistics doesn’t seem to affect people as much as seeing a face and the name that goes with the face. In the news, we’re fascinated to see a lottery winner and his story. Whereas, seeing the headline saying, “Yesterday, 17 Million People Did NOT Win The Lottery” is a yawn.
We won’t be far off the mark by thinking of lotteries as a tax on the people who’re bad at math, but most people don’t think of lotteries in that way.
We’re not very good at assessing risks and then assigning risks their proper weight.
It’s human nature. Instead of looking at the track record of almost everyone losing; we prefer to project ourselves into the future and assume we’re more special than we really are. It’s what keeps a lot of crazy stuff going. I guess even though the risk of losing the lottery is so great that it’s hard to imagine, the risk is worth it to most people.