Lottery Players Think Myopically

Every month, Nautilus publishes essays, investigative stories, and works of fiction about science and chooses a theme. The theme for August is: “The Unlikely,” stories about understanding our odds and probabilities. Today, Adam Piore examines the sociology behind why we play the lottery, though if you’re looking to figure out whether or not you should play the lottery, see our story in May by Matt Levine.

Who’s the Idiot Now? In My Family, We Play the Lottery to Win

When my mom asked me last week if I wanted her to buy me a Powerball ticket, with the pot valued at 500 million dollars, I said yes.

My Retirement Plan Is Having No Retirement Plan

I don’t have any retirement savings. I had precisely one opportunity to sign up for a 401(k), after I’d been working for a year at a grocery store (it was Portland), but I thought I was quitting soon, so I didn’t sign up. I stayed for another year.