I'm like a lot of people. I expect to win the lottery one day, soon. I've been faithfully buying my lottery tickets, spending one dollar for every major draw, drawn here in British Columbia since their inception. I've respectfully wagered my bet on the same numbers, having believed after randomly selecting them that they were my true lucky numbers. So far, my lucky numbers have netted me about $2,000. A small fraction compared to the amount I've spent. Apparently though, counting my receipts, my lucky numbers appear to be not so lucky, considering I play them for every draw and for the last 30 years. This has been dubbed the lottery paradox. Let me explain.
Let's suppose I buy one ticket in a particular lottery. There are over 20 million tickets sold for that draw, with just one ticket that will claim to be the winner of the grand prize. It would be irrational for me to believe my ticket will win, wouldn't you agree?
Some philosophers have thought since we are so prone to error, we are bound to believe that we are more than highly probable to win, hence, as here, I am prone to believe that my ticket won't win. But the same holds true for every ticket sold for that particular lottery, which makes us bound to believe no ticket should win. But one ticket will certainly win, according to the hypothesis proposed, hence the paradox.
What this paradox represents and shows is that there is a difference between believing something is probable, to whatever a degree and truly believing it possible.
Until that day arrives and I can call myself a winner, I'll keep buying one ticket, one lottery at a time.
The Lottery Paradox;
I believe I will win, no matter how great the odds are stacked against me because I will be holding the winning ticket.
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