Sunday, June 28, 2009

Freak lotto jackpot defies logic, by Conal Hanna - Fairfax - 23rd June 2009

It's supposed to happen once every 11 years.

But, as anyone trying to pick the lucky numbers can attest, lotteries are never predictable.

And so it is that Australia has its third $50 million jackpot in two years tonight.

Organisers expect one in five Queenslanders to buy a ticket for a chance to win the record-equalling first division prize in tonight's Oz 7 Lotto draw.

It's the second time Oz 7 Lotto has hit the $50 million mark, which also occurred for Powerball in 2008.

Combined with last Saturday night's $20 million Gold Lotto draw, and the two other lotteries on Wednesday and Thursday, it makes for a record-breaking $84 million week, $5 million more than the previous record in June last year.

With a late rush expected on tickets today, Lola Mashado, a Relationships Australia branch manager, reminded people not to get carried away with the chance of success.

"Any form of gambling can become addictive. If it's not done for fun. If it's taking over areas of people's lives and it is no longer social gambling," Ms Mashado said.

She said in her time as a financial counsellor she'd seen people in debt spend a lump sum on lotto tickets as a way of fixing their problems.

She'd also had to remind people that, despite superstition, there was no 'system' to winning.

"You need to recognise it's chance. There's no system, no hidden formula around it, just like any other form of gambling," Ms Mashado said.

A single standard entry game panel for tonight's draw has a one in 45,379,620 chance of winning the top prize.

Net takings from Lotto tickets totalled $1.44 billion in the financial 2004/05, out of Australia's total gambling spend of $15.46 billion.

Poker machines make up $8.7 billion. (Credit: Fairfax)

Media Man Australia Profiles

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