If you missed out in last night's $50 million Oz Lotto draw, you're in good company. Not one of the 3.8 million tickets sold across the country won its owner the division one prize.
But fear not: you'll have a chance to waste your money all over again next week, when the lottery jackpots to $70 million. Given that the top prize has not been won since August 28, you might fancy your chances – ignoring, of course, the statistical realities.
"The bigger the jackpot gets, the more people play and the more they spend," said lotteries spokeswoman Elissa Lewis.
Early estimates suggest punters doled out roughly $76 million on last night's draw, at an average of $20 an entry (official figures will be released later today). The total prize pool awarded was $21.5 million, including 12 division two winners with $51,000 each – making it a nice little earner for lottery agencies.
More than 1.1 million tickets were sold in NSW. The mania surrounding next Tuesday's draw will be bigger still. When Oz Lotto last hit $70 million, in May, some 7.5 million entries were sold – almost one for every two Australian adults.
Three winners shared the division one prize in that draw, including a Sydney man who claimed $24.5 million from his first-ever lottery ticket. "I feel like I'm in a dream," he said at the time.
The division one prize has been jackpotting since the draw on September 4. The greater the prize pool, the greater the number of people who are lured by the dream of becoming instant multimillionaires.
"There are lots of players out there for these draws that don't play regularly," Ms Lewis said. "Based on history, we anticipate around half the Australian adult population will have an entry for the $70 million."
Their chances of winning are minuscule. Mathematicians have calculated the chances of winning the jackpot with a single ticket as one in 45 million. In other words, a ticket-holder has more than a 99.99997796 per cent chance of not winning.