&#91FOUNTAIN&#93Good luck has its own price

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[FOUNTAIN]Good luck has its own price

Lotto, the newest state lottery, has become the top topic of conversation. Jokes related with Lotto are now in vogue on the Internet. One of them is what you should do if you hit the jackpot.

First, you should consult a lawyer about measures to receive the prize money with your identity shielded as much as possible. And you should tell Kookmin Bank you will move your account to another bank, if your identity is unveiled.

According to the joke, you should not tell even your husband or wife that you have won the Lotto game. To escape the attention of newspapers and broadcasters, you should visit Kookmin Bank at least one or two months later with a look of gloom. You should change your phone numbers and e-mail address. And you should resign from your job on a plausible pretext and then move into a house under another person's name.

But there is more to this phenomenon. I heard of people looking for attorneys and tax accountants to notarize a declaration that they have jointly purchased Lotto tickets, guarding against any potential dispute over the prize.

The probability of hitting the jackpot in the Lotto game is one in 8 million. This is even lower than the probability of being struck by lightning in a year (one in 500,000). And there are no methods of raising the probability of winning the Lotto game, whereas you can raise the probability of being struck by a lightning by going to a park or a golf course on a rainy day. Lotto, a game in which you choose six numbers among 45 numbers from 1 to 45, is purely a game of chance.

There is a rumor that the balls bearing 45 or 39 are more easily drawn, because the areas containing the printed figures are larger than for other figures, so the balls have a higher total friction factor. But the rumor has no credibility. Choosing numbers that have never been drawn, which are called "numbers that are due" also has shown no advantage.

If people are satisfied with only dreaming, it is better for them to buy a lottery ticket than to buy a pack of cigarettes. But Lotto fever has already gone beyond the level of dreaming.

Lotteries are good tools for randomly distributing wealth. But, unfortunately, most lottery players are people of low or moderate means. So, lotteries are called a tax on the poor. Albert Jacquard, a French economist and activist for the poor said that lotteries are a tax on fruitless hope.


by Noh Jae-hyun

The writer is a deputy international news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.
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