Due a Win?

One of the most unhelpful myths in the lottery world is that some players are "due a win" more than others. The idea behind this myth is that the more a person has played a lottery game, the closer they must be to winning than someone who has only just started. The myth suggests that winning a lottery is some kind of journey, and that the sooner you get started playing, the sooner you will arrive on Millionaire's Row.

The truth, of course, is very different. Lotteries are games of chance, and both the lottery balls and the machines they are drawn by are oblivious to how long you have been playing for or what numbers you have selected in the past. It may well be the case that a player has entered 1,000 different combinations of numbers over the past ten years, or that another has played the same six numbers twice a week for the same period of time, but neither of these facts alters the odds of winning one iota.

This "due a win" myth is unhelpful for a couple of reasons. First, it can make some long-term players feel as if they are being cheated when a first-time player lands a jackpot right away, thereby reducing their enjoyment of the game. Second, it can lead some players to escalate their purchase of lottery tickets as the months and years go by, since they (incorrectly) believe that they have more chance of winning because they have been playing for a while.

One of the greatest things about lotteries is that they offer a completely level playing field for all participants. Regardless of age, gender, previous playing experience, or any other variable, all lottery players have exactly the same chance of winning as anyone else. It doesn’t matter if you’ve played a thousand times or if you’re playing for the first time, the odds of you winning with any set of numbers are always the same. Let’s embrace facts rather than myths and celebrate lotteries for the perfect games of chance that they are, and not perpetuate the “take a ticket and wait your turn” fantasies that some people wish they were.

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