John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
It's almost a certainty that you won't become a billionaire by winning the Powerball. The odds of winning the estimated jackpot of $1.5 billion today is roughly one in 292 million, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. Those are not good odds. One might even say they are very bad odds. Given those widely reported figures, why are people lining up for their (very small) chance of striking it rich, which, for emphasis, is almost certainly not going to happen?