How to Play the Lottery!

If you’ve ever been to a gas station or convenience store, you’ve undoubtedly been bombarded by the colorful array of lottery tickets available for purchase. Intentionally placed by the register, where every customer is sure to notice them, these brilliant displays of shape and color are meant to look as lighthearted as the candy bars that usually reside below them. Their designers specifically play into individuals’ ethos and use bright colors and depictions of money to appeal to potential consumers. Just look at them!

Just in that picture alone, we see depictions of gold bars, gems, stacks of cash, crowns, billiards, cards, and the number “7” more times than I can count. These types of games are called
“scratch-off” because to play them, one needs only a penny or even a particularly strong fingernail to rub off the coating on the ticket and reveal randomly printed numbers that determine their winnings (or lack thereof!)

Another type of game that people more generally think of as “the lottery” is PowerBall (among other games of similar nature). When you hear the phrase “state lottery,” think of this type of game. To play, simply go up to one of the same cash registers mentioned above, pay for your ticket, select your numbers, and wait! Drawings are done on regular intervals, and if your numbers match those chosen by the lottery, you win!

Though the lottery takes many shapes and forms, these two are the ones you are most likely to see, and are the ones that manage to captivate the largest audiences.