Monday, January 11, 2016

What Are the Odds?

Okay, so there are lines going out the door at convenience stores and gas stations because people have gone crazy over the Powerball Lottery. The prize is, as of this writing, $1.3 BILLION. A sum I would wait in line for, except that--as I quote from some unknown but wise source--this is a game for the mathematically challenged. The odds are 292 million to 1 that plunking down real money for a chance at the fantasy is a complete waste. I've never been a gambler. Too many other ways to get rid of money.
You're winning odds are better for getting hit by an asteroid, being elected president of the United States, or becoming a saint. (Well, in my case, that last one might not be valid.) As someone who enjoys math (though I admit probability is my least favorite branch), I just don't see the attraction for a game with that much weight on the losing side.
So that begs the question, "Why exactly do I think my chances are better as a writer?"
Entirely likely success will be just as much of a wild goose chase for me as it is for those people in the gas station line. Still, we all have our dreams. Without them, life would be dreary indeed. I wish all those people in the lines the best of luck, especially the couple who want to use their winnings "to buy out Trump."
And I'll continue to take my chances in the publishing business.