Anybody who isn’t mathematically challenged knows that playing the Powerball is an exercise in throwing money away. The chances of winning are infinitesimal. You’d be better off putting the money for a ticket into buying a coffee at Starbucks since you at least receive something for your money then.
But there is something you can play that has worse odds and absolutely no chance of a payout: the United States presidential election:
However, come November, many of the sophisticates who smugly snickered at these stories will themselves have wasted time and energy on their own statistically senseless participation in yet another faith-based fantasy drawing: they will have voted in a U.S. presidential election.
A voter has a greater chance of dying in a car accident on the way to the polling station than of affecting the outcome of the presidential election. But you wouldn’t know it from the way engaged voters assiduously deliberate and strategize over their presidential “pick”: balancing pros and cons, prioritizing issues, and agonizing over character judgments, as if they were pondering a decision that would actually make a difference in their lives, like choosing a romantic partner or a dentist.
Get a grip. Handing in a piece of paper is not going to make you a billionaire, and it’s not going to make you a political kingmaker either. Agonizing over your World of Warcraft avatar would impact your future happiness far more than agonizing over your pick for president.
Not only are your odds of dying greater than your odds of influencing the election but even if you do manage to influence the election you won’t win anything. Look at the current presidential candidates. Whether Clinton or Trump wins is irrelevant because everybody inside and outside of the United States will lose. Even if you throw in Gary Johnson as a viable candidate nothing changes. He’s not a libertarian and would still end up fucking Americans over. Since there isn’t a single candidate running on the platform of abolishing the federal government there is no way to win even if you can influence the presidential race (and since the president can’t actually abolish the federal government such a candidate would count as a win for entertainment purposes only).
If you want to play a game with stupid odds on November 4th go buy a Powerball ticket. You won’t win but at least there is a chance of a payout, unlike voting for the president.