how to lose at Mega Millions like a real expert
From the Columbus Dispatch, Saturday, May 18, 2002
Dispatch Accent Columnist
Ohio has joined Mega
Millions, a multistate lottery that offers bigger jackpots than the state's Super Lotto
Because the game is new, some residents are uncertain how
to play. So To Speak presents this guide in an effort to aggravate the confusion:
Welcome. The Ohio Lottery Commission welcomes you to the
exciting new multistate game Mega Millions.
Now you can join residents of eight other states in the fun of buying colorful tickets
that you will throw away in bitter disappointment two days later.
Odds of winning. Your odds of winning the jackpot are 135
million-to-1, approximately the same as your chances of being struck by lightning while
fending off an attack by a two-headed shark that was recently elected prime minister of
In contrast, the odds of winning the state's Super Lotto Plus jackpot are 13.9
million-to-1 (same scenario, one-headed shark).
Two choices. Option A: Buy Mega Millions tickets at any of
the 9,100 Ohio Lottery retailers. Tickets cost $1 each.
Option B: Take a dollar from your wallet and throw it into the nearest storm sewer.
With either option, your odds are about the same.
Financial disclosure. If you choose Option A, your costs
for driving 5 miles to a retail outlet and buying one ticket will total approximately
If you choose Option B, your costs for throwing a dollar into a storm sewer will total
In a year of weekly play, Option B participants will spend
approximately $83.20 less than Option A participants.
The raccoons living in the sewer, meanwhile, will make $52.
The odds of a raccoon spending anything on a Mega Millions
ticket are too small to calculate. Raccoons are not that dumb.
Strategy tips. Select five numbers from 1 to 52 plus a
sixth Mega Ball number from 1 to 52. These are your Mega Selections, otherwise defined as
Use any method to pick the numbers. Some players choose based on dreams, street addresses
or their children's birthdays.
Before deciding to have children, please consult a
physician. The Ohio Lottery will not be responsible for children conceived in an effort to
produce lottery numbers.
If you dislike the pressure of choosing, try the Auto Loss
option, in which your losing numbers are selected randomly by computer.
If your six numbers match those in the Mega Millions
drawing, pinch yourself. You are dreaming.
In the event you are not dreaming, redeem the winning
ticket at an Ohio Lottery Commission office, then hold a news conference at which you
announce you will not quit your job for a while.
Then quit your job.
Purpose of the game. The mission of Mega Millions is to
produce enough Mega Losers to ensure that the few Mega Winners do not drain all the
Mega Millions is designed to entertain Ohioans while
preserving the political careers of Gov. Bob Taft and the members of the General Assembly.
All Ohio profits go into an education fund that, when
spread equally among the school districts, provides enough money to buy every child an
extra chicken nugget in the cafeteria.
If you would like more information on Mega Millions, don't
ask. You'll take all the fun out of it.
Joe Blundo is an Accent columnist.