I’ve never bought a lottery ticket.
While I’m not as adept at mental maths, I’ve always fallen on the side of Business Insider’s Andy Kiersz, who calculated why playing the lottery is pointless.
But the Powerball lottery is at a record high of $1.5 billion. Everyone is talking about what they’d do with the winnings. Billionaire Mark Cuban provided advice for potential winners, and financial advisers warn would-be winners what not to do.
We all have lottery fever, and I’m not exempt.
I couldn’t help but think of Business Insider’s Sam Ro’s rationale for playing the lottery: If he plays and loses, he won’t wonder what would have happened had he not played. (It’s actually related to an economic concept called “utility.”)
Last night I went to a local deli to buy a lottery ticket … but they didn’t sell them. Neither did the next two places I tried. By the time I went into the fourth place, I felt like a real dork. Who doesn’t know how to buy a lottery ticket?
In case you’re in the same boat and want to buy a ticket before sales stop at about 10 p.m. ET tonight (the drawing is at 10:59 p.m. ET), here’s a helpful tip to avoid annoying convenience store clerks everywhere: You can look up retailers online.
Assuming we’re talking specifically about the Powerball, you can check out the lottery’s site, which links to state-specific maps. You plug in your zip code, and voila. Here’s what New York City’s looks like for the zip 10012:
You can zoom in on each location:
And if you had gotten your act together sooner, you could have purchased tickets online as well.
It’s really, really not that hard. Bring cash.
Please note neither I nor Business Insider endorses playing the lottery. Your chances are terrible.