One of the most famous quotes in movie history is Han Solo’s: “never tell me the odds”.
You’d think that this quote is something lottery and casino players live by. After all, we all know the odds of picking a winning lottery ticket is around 1 in 45 million… oops, we just told you the odds.
But the thing is that lottery and casino players don’t seem to care about the odds. In the UK alone, around 70% of over 18s play the national lottery regularly, and there are 32 million active iGaming accounts.
The global lottery market is set to grow by a CAGR of 8.45% over the next five years, eventually hitting $378 billion by 2027 while the iGaming market hits $665.7 by 2030. Despite the odds, people play the lottery and casinos. So the important thing is finding out: why?
More Than Just Luck
First off, why not? In 2023, there are thousands of online casinos to choose from, and a lot of information available on each. You can find out about the best casino bonus promotions this month with a click of the fingers, and most of the deals are good enough to warrant a spin or two.
Likewise, the lottery has been going since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. At this point, it’s ingrained in our culture, and with most tickets only costing around $2, it’s a small-risk, big-reward kind of deal.
But there is more to it than that. A lot of people assume that the lottery and casinos are all about luck rather than any kind of skill. But while luck plays a big part in both the lottery and casinos, there is a bit more to it than that. Namely, intuition.
When people talk about intuition, it often gets passed off with a shrug and a “so what?” It’s not seen as anything tangible, or reliable enough to guarantee success, so what’s the point of even talking about it? But, believe it or not, there is a science behind intuition that suggests it plays a bigger role than a lot of people would ever suspect.
The Science Behind Intuition
Intuition is a very real phenomenon. If you were to define it, intuition is the ability to know something without needing to actively think about it or use reason to discover it.
It’s that feeling at the pit of your stomach that tells you whether something is right or wrong. You know when people make a left-field decision and say: “I just have a good feeling about this”? That’s intuition at work. Sometimes it succeeds. Sometimes not so much. So what exactly is the science?
Well, according to top psychologists, intuition is the extension of your memory and your cognitive systems. Throughout your life, your brain gathers a whole heap of information, and when it comes to making an intuitive decision, it clarifies this information with your prior experience, and then makes a prediction about what the outcome will be.
This leads to us making “intuitive decisions” every day, without even realizing it. For instance, if you were asked to go onto Google and type “I like jam in my sandwiches” without looking at your fingers, you’d probably be able to do so. But if you were asked to recite the seven letters at the bottom of your keyboard, you would likely struggle. That’s because typing relies on your intuitive memory rather than the explicit memory involved in remembering the location of those letters.
Intuition In The Lottery And Casinos
Nearly two years ago, a Vietnam veteran claimed to have won the lottery six times based solely on intuition. On the day itself, he walked into his local store, and his intuition told him to buy six tickets rather than one – which was his usual purchase.
He also used his intuition to choose the same numbers for each ticket, rather than picking them at random like he normally did. When the numbers came in, they correlated with his tickets, and he won a lump sum of $2 million – with an annual payment of $25,000 for the sixth ticket.
This is where things get a little complex, however. Although intuition can form correct decisions in everyday life, the lottery involves countless irregularities, which makes it difficult to decipher using intuition alone. A lot of people also get too attached to intuitive beliefs. It is an emotional reaction that makes you confident in an idea, and that confidence can be hard to shake.
That being said, intuition can be used to your advantage during a casino game, because you are drawing from tangible experiences. If you’re playing poker and you have a gut feeling that the person across from you is bluffing, that is an intuition that could be trusted.
Likewise, if you are playing blackjack and you have an intuition to play the house one more time, you’re likely drawing from several scenarios unconsciously that is making you form that decision. That doesn’t mean it’s always right, of course! Researchers around the world have been trying to work out exactly how the intuitive mind works, and what makes it right or wrong on any given occasion. The truth is, we still don’t really know. But it does exist. There is science behind it. And you should always trust your gut – just don’t use it to guide all your decisions!