Daniel Neman: Why you shouldn’t gamble, and why I sometimes do

Published by
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

I’m thinking of a number between one and 10. Can you guess it? You can find the number I am thinking of in three more paragraphs. I’m putting it there so you won’t immediately see it if you’re trying to guess the number. Got it wrong, didn’t you? You only had 10 choices, and you picked the wrong one. And not just you, but almost everyone else, too. If you had placed a $1 bet and correctly guessed the number, I would pay you $10 if we were going strictly by the odds. If you were playing the numbers, I would pay you $6. If you were paying the lottery, I would pay you $5. The number, incidentally…

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