A dream house (for everyone you know)? Season tickets— for life— for your team? Retreating to a private island? Whatever your dream is for winning the Powerball lottery, experts say the fantasies may be good for your health.
“If we’re imagining being on a vacation in the Caribbean or winning this money and being able to spend it, it actually makes us feel better physically,” Dr. Joseph Rock, a psychologist at Cleveland Clinic, said in a news release. “Different hormones are released; different neurotransmitters are released in our bodies and we feel better thinking about stuff like that.”
While the chances of winning the $1.5 billion are slim— the odds of matching all six numbers to win the jackpot are one in 292.2 million, one estimate shows— the human brain isn’t wired to think about probability, meaning humans delude themselves into thinking they have a decent chance of winning, Rock said.
Another upside of trying to win the lottery? Bonding with your friends, coworkers, family— whomever you decided to buy tickets in a group with.
“I think really when you’re doing something like with people at work, where you’re all kicking in some money, then it becomes a group activity, you all get kind of excited together, but you all know you probably aren’t going to win,” Rock said.
Rock added the key to keeping it fun was by purchasing a ticket or two and letting yourself dream, but don’t get too carried away about your chances of winning.