Looks like somebody wrote a topic page for Cracked about lotteries. I figure I'm better off linking to it. This is almost exactly what I would write about the lottery if I were capable of the kind of biting satire Cracked is known for.
From the page:
Even the Wikipedia article says that "buying a lottery ticket reduces the buyer's expected net worth," and when someone writing Wikipedia articles on lottery systems starts to call you worthless, you should probably be returned as defective by organ farmers.
I've made it sort of a hobby to study the lottery. Or, more specifically, lottery winners. I've written many times that I don't "play" the lottery. I've found more constructive ways to waste my money.
I once found a very insightful quote in 1984 about the lottery. I should rewrite that post. Even I can't stand my writing in it.
The last bit of text on that topic page contains a very saddening development:
Make Me A Millionaire
In final proof that He Who Is Satan has not only come to Earth but set up a business, California is combining reality TV and scratch cards in "Make Me A Millionaire" - a game* where contestants pay for scratch cards for the chance of winning an appearance on TV. The moment people stopped dreaming of being millionaires, and instead dreamed of maybe having the chance to be on reality TV, is recorded as the exact date hope died.
*God awful moron experience
Statistically, I'd say you stand a better chance of winning a spot on a reality TV show than you do of winning the lottery. Maybe it's not that sad.