The Lottery: The winners and losers by WHYY Public Media published on 2012/12/06 17:10:10 +0000 Millions of Americans bought Powerball tickets last week hoping to win the record $588 million jackpot. In 43 states, people plunked down their two dollars for a chance at the huge payout, even with the lousy odds — 1 in 175,223,510. One of the winning tickets belonged to a Missouri family who will receive roughly $136.5 million after taxes. Today we look at the lottery – what it means for the winners and losers. First, does the game really help state economies and who pays the price? Then, we’ll talk about the psychology of playing the lottery – what happens to the winners and why we play even though we’re bound to lose. Our guests are BRAD HUMPHREYS, Professor of Economics at University of Alberta, DON MCNAY, the author of “Life Lessons From the Lottery,” and STEVE DANISH, a Professor of Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University.