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I don't understand why this is an issue since each drawing's odds are independent. Perhaps I don't understand how these pools work.



That's the disconnect. Each draw's odds are independent, but each draw's winnings aren't.

So there's a collectivism that goes into a growing pot. This is the only thing that really makes a "rollover" enticing to players. If each draw was an isolated incident, the "windfall" mechanic the article describes would be in place for every draw. So a collective pitches in, and the pot is distributed amongst the collective's members (the players) according to how successful each ticket is. So if there's no 6-number winners, there's more left in the pot for the 5-number winners. If there's 5-number winners, there's more left in the pot for the 4-number winners, etc.

(Either that, or the house makes out like bandits. State lotteries are usually regulated to keep a distinction between the pot and the profit, hence such pot-emptying mechanisms.)

But if the pot rolls over - it's not distributed, but added to the pot for the next draw - you now have more than one collective. One collective that's contributed to the pot (over n draws), and one collective that participates in the winning game (over 1 draw). And if there's a significant disconnect between the two, then yes - as one commenter put it, sour grapes. It's the difference between feeling like you've lost a fair game, and feeling like you've been hustled.

Technically it makes zero difference. But if it makes people less inclined to play in future, then it's bad for the long-term health of the game.


It becomes an issue because you introduce humans and human emotion into something that is only viable because of the emotional draw that gets people to play. That emotion feels betrayed... feels so the actual facts aren't relevant... then they don't keep playing and the game dries up.


It's an issue because of "sour grapes". The people that had been in the game longer feel the newcomers didn't deserve to win. Feeling that way led them to no longer play - and that is the issue. Fewer players = smaller pot = fewer players = smaller port = fewer player.... you get the idea.




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