Written by Olivia Studdard, Staff Writer
Last week we had a record breaking day in lottery history when the Powerball jackpot broke $1 billion. This is the first time the prize has ever broken the $1 billion mark in any state, ever. With the Wednesday night drawing on Jan. 13, it seemed as if the majority of the country was on the edge of their seats waiting for the six numbers to be drawn.
The way the game works is simple. There are two drums of balls. One is filled with 69 numbered white balls and the other is filled with 26 numbered red balls. Each Wednesday and Saturday night at 10:59 EST, the balls are rolled around in the drums and then five white balls are drawn as well as one red ball, coined “the Powerball.”
Just like the Hunger Games, the odds are definitely not in your favor. The overall chance of winning a prize in the Powerball game is 1 in 25. With this in mind, the prizes get larger in number the more numbers out of the six you have matched. If you match the one red Powerball you automatically get a prize. A second prize of $1,000,000 is rewarded if you have the five white balls matched correctly in any order, and the grand prize is announced when someone correctly has all five white numbers as well as the red Powerball.
But why should college students care? What’s our draw to this outrageous gamble? Of course we all know that the lottery is big money, and that playing could change our lives forever. Statistics show that the people who play the most money in the lottery are the people who are in the lowest income brackets. College students typically fall under this title, and a ticket to play Powerball only costs $2 which makes it especially alluring. That night, whether you bought a ticket or not, many students were imagining the changes their lives could have with the grand prize of $1.5 billion dollars.
“I’ve never played before, but heck yeah I almost did for this last one,” freshman psychology major, Mary Reinhardt said. “If I won, I would have bought an island. I would probably also buy a really attractive husband— no, a different one for every day of the week. And then after all of that, I might invest some of what’s left.”
Other students, such as VSU senior, Christian Thornton, said that most of his money would have gone straight to the bank.
“I’ve never played the lottery because I know I don’t have a good chance to win, but if I had, I would have invested all of it except for the portion I donated to charity,” Thornton said.
For others, the game is simply not something of interest to them. Many chose not to participate in the lottery at all, whether it’s for religious reasons, or even family traditions, such as freshman communications major, Layne Brock.
“I’ve never even considered it. That’s just how I was raised. My parent’s never did it, so I’ve never seen myself doing it either,” Brock said.
Whichever way your ticket folds, the game is an imaginative sport. You can play to risk it all or you can play to risk little to nothing. It’s a lot like college itself. You get out of it whatever you put into it. But however you chose to play, play it with confidence, dignity, and the persistence to stick it out until the 10:59 p.m. deadline.