`Most people have a poor understanding of probability. One major difficulty is in appreciating how unlikely simple events become when several independent outcomes must all line up. This is one reason that lotteries are popular: people overestimate their chances of winning. [..]
In the demonstration below, the average state lottery is simulated to show exactly how unlikely it is that you will match all 6 numbers. In this simulation, you try to match 6 numbers between 1 and 50. You get a prize for matching 3 or more numbers. The simulation assumes there is 1 drawing per week, tickets cost $1, and that you purchase 1 ticket for each drawing.
It also shows you what would happen if you put the $1 away each week in an investment that earned you 5% compounded daily.’