Why do people buy lottery tickets?
It’s certainly not based on any rational analysis of financial risk or reward.
So, why do something that almost never seems to work?
Because it actually works every single time.
What it does is release a hit of dopamine, first when you think about buying one, then again when you decide to buy one, and then a third time when you actually transact. For regular players, these three moments of hope and joy demolish the sadness that comes from actually losing.