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In a normal lottery, if the pot gets large enough, even with the normal rules the "expected payout" of a ticket becomes higher than its list price. It's just that the chances of actually winning are so astronomically low that you'd have to be Jeff Bezos to stand a good chance of winning your bet (i.e. being able to buy enough tickets such that your chances of winning are worth the play, and then especially being able to absorb the loss when you lose anyway because it's still random).

What's interesting with the rolldown mechanism is not just that the "expected payout" of a ticket becomes worth more than its price, but that the number of winners is such that you can actually reasonably expect to turn a profit by buying a modest number of tickets.




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