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Opinion
Barry Ritholtz

Powerball Isn't Investing and Vice Versa

The odds are absurd in a lottery, but they can be in your favor in the stock market.
Notice the difference?

Notice the difference?

Photographer: Bradley C. Bower/Bloomberg

By now you are likely sick of all the chatter about tonight’s astounding $1.5 billion Powerball lottery drawing. I have been quite critical of lotteries in the past. They are a classic grab for the free lunch, a desire for the benefits of wealth without the sweat and hard labor.

This is no small issue: As a nation, our lottery habit is truly stupendous: