Try It, You Might Like It: Billion Dollar Blockbuster

Sometimes, there are things in life you just aren’t sure about trying. Maybe you lack a sense of daring, or maybe you’re just sane. Luckily, we’ve got high levels of daring with a twist of insanity, so we will sample these things for you.

1190816938The Massachusetts State Lottery isn’t that big a deal to us. Yes, we get caught up in the occasional big jackpot frenzy and can describe at length what we would do with our winnings. (Goodbye, student loans; hello, Bentley.) But with yesterday’s release of the Billion Dollar Blockbuster, a scratch ticket with staggering $20 bet, we decided to try our luck.

We did feel a little dirty spending our lunch money on a lottery ticket, but the heavy advertising on the ticket had us convinced that winning a fortune was a sure bet. “The highest payout % in lottery history,” states one headline. “Overall chance of winning better than 1 in 3” cries another. (Which, according to the State Lottery’s website, isn’t true. The statistics there claim the probability of a win are 1 in 2.99.)

Playing the game is simple–there are eight winning numbers and a bank of 15 numbers called “your numbers.” If your numbers match the winning numbers, you win the prize. Easy enough.

If you’re lucky enough to get a “$$” sign in your numbers, you win that prize automatically. A “burst” will win you $100, and a “star” gets you five times the shown prize. Figuring it was a piece of cake to win our money back, we started scratching.

1190817514Since we’re unlucky bastards, we didn’t win anything. But at least we gave the state some money, which State Treasurer Tim Cahill told the Globe’s Kevin Cullen it desperately needs.

Cahill, not a bad guy, presides over the lottery and was originally against casino gambling. But he changed his mind after he saw all that money leeching out to the two casinos in Connecticut, and after he noticed that lottery revenues had gone flat. That is a nice way of saying we have bled the Megabucks and scratch ticket junkies dry, so it’s time to try something else. “We need the money,” said Cahill, who in speaking those four words accomplished something rare on Beacon Hill: He told the truth.

Glad we could help, Tim. But after losing $20 here, we won’t be in a mad rush out to the casinos.

Our verdict: If you’ve got $20 from your grandma to blow, you might as well. If you need the money for lunch, you’re better off with a cheaper ticket.