Editorial: Lotto random by design

By Mark Story

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LUCKY? Lotto's ever increasing jackpots are becoming irresistible, writes Mark Story. PHOTO FILE
LUCKY? Lotto's ever increasing jackpots are becoming irresistible, writes Mark Story. PHOTO FILE

Lotto's a cunning outfit.

I'm convinced that while appearing nondescript, the little yellow tickets are based on the golden passes from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory fame.

You know the ones, the rare tickets found inside the fabled Wonka chocolate bars which earned the lucky recipient a lifetime of chocolate and entry into Willy Wonka's secret chocolate factory.

Either way, basing your product on the work of the imaginative Roald Dahl is, of course, a master stoke. After all, Lotto invites us to dream. And, unfortunately, as the perfect consumer, that's what I've been doing since the top monetary prize jackpotted to tonight's $38 million.

It's a significant volume of the folding stuff.

What can it buy you? A quick check on Google shows in 2014 a 1962 Ferrari GTO sold at auction for $38m - and in doing so became the world's most valuable car.

A 929sq m Tudor-style mansion in Vancouver has listed for $38m, while a Newsweek investigation claimed Donald Trump needed a $38m slush fund from Daddy to shield him from his business failures.

In his mid-late 1990s' prime, NBA basketballer Michael Jordan was estimated to earn $38m in endorsements.

None of those references have any particular resonance at a local level, so it's tough to know what it actually means. Status? Debt free? Less time poor? More relaxed? Extra hobbies?

Either way, what makes it particularly alluring in this region is the fact Hastings' Unichem Stortford Lodge Pharmacy is still New Zealand's luckiest - with 43 first division wins - and a total winnings amount of more than $27 million.

What's intriguing is that supposedly the physics of the churning balls dictates random results. Yet this perpetual gold mine outlet at Stortford Lodge seems to suggest anything but a lack of pattern. It's the stuff of conspiracy theories.

So, how to resist?

Well, you could either dwell on the odds, or stop imagining what you'd do with it.

But that's little fun - so good luck, and may the law of randomness be with you.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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