The human brain can respond in an interesting way to lottery jackpots — especially when we are talking about winnings in the billions. What makes us succumb to “lottery fever,” a belief that we can win even when our chances are slim?
Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy
Joseph Rock, PsyD, says our brains aren’t wired to think about probability. There’s a part of us that can find fantasy as satisfying as reality. In fact, certain hormones are released as we fantasize.
It becomes an issue when people think the lottery is a way they will make their living. In those cases, it can be a sign of a gambling problem.
RELATED: Why Finding a Bargain Makes Your Brain Feel Good