SONGSOPTOK: Do you buy lottery tickets? If yes, then how frequently? What is your motivation for buying them?

LIPIKA DEY: Never !  Well okay - unless at gun-point!

SONGSOPTOK:  Have you ever won a lottery? If yes, then can you describe what your feelings were? If not, do you feel disappointed every time you lose?

LIPIKA DEY: Never ever! Well once again – unless there were chocolates for all!

SONGSOPTOK:  Why, according to you, people buy lottery tickets, especially where the probability of winning is infinitely small? Is it hope, greed, lust or is it more of an adventure?

LIPIKA DEY: Only a small fraction of the world is aware of the existence of a formal subject called Probability Theory. The larger fraction are blissfully unaware of such a thing as probability – they buy since they were taught in school – hope springs eternally in the human breast. Among those who have undergone a formal training in Probability Theory - very few understand the subject. Those who understand possibly do not buy – but that is such a small fraction that it goes unnoticed!

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you think that buying lottery tickets is rational? If so, what is the rationality behind it?

LIPIKA DEY: Buying a lottery ticket is rational till the point where the reward money promises to be greater than the total money spent on lottery tickets till now (without winning) – since strictly speaking no properly defined event has zero probability.

SONGSOPTOK:  Can buying lottery tickets be compared to other forms of betting and gambling? Please explain your answer.

LIPIKA DEY: Obviously not! Buying lottery tickets is much less taxing on the brain than betting or gambling. Betting or gambling intelligently requires a lot of contextual knowledge, general knowledge  and err deep knowledge of Probability theory.

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you think lotteries are immoral in the sense that they tempt people to ‘waste’ money? Do you personally look at it as wastage?

LIPIKA DEY: Well –I guess my answer would be biased by the fact that I could never win. 

SONGSOPTOK:  Recent studies designate buying lottery tickets as compulsive buying. Do you agree with this view? Have you witnessed this in your own life? Would you consider it to be a form of addiction?

LIPIKA DEY:  I haven’t had the fortune of knowing such a person from close quarters – which I now wish I had. At least my answers would be so much better! But yes I agree with the view – it is addictive!

SONGSOPTOK:  All over the world the mega lotteries have become important social phenomena, surrounded by a lot of hype. What is your opinion about that?

LIPIKA DEY:  Not really aware of this phenomenon – but definitely does not bode well for mankind.

SONGSOPTOK:  Do you watch the live draws on the television? Do you ever speculate on the number that will roll out next? How do you feel when you get it right? Have you ever guessed all the numbers and regretted not buying a ticket?


SONGSOPTOK:  What would you do if you won the Powerball or the EuroMillions tomorrow? We would like to know everything you would do if you actually won a lottery.

LIPIKA DEY: REPLY:  Book tickets to all the nooks and corners of the world where I have not yet travelled to.

LIPIKA DEY: A Computer Science Researcher

We sincerely thank you for your time and hope we shall have your continued support.
Aparajita Sen

(Editor: Songsoptok)


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