How to Win the Lottery
Most people can’t convince themselves of this completely. They hold onto the idea that somehow, despite the overwhelmingly low probability of choosing the right set of numbers on the right hour, the right day, the right year, there’s still a possibility they could win. They think to themselves, “There’s no way I’m going to win, but I still could win, right?” Incorrect. They think, “There’s no way I’m going to win, but still, wouldn’t it be funny if I did?” Even that kind of thinking isn’t enough irony to get you the jackpot. And there’s no way in hell you’re going to win if you think that you will win. The only way to win is to forget the impossibly small, but nevertheless hope-giving, odd that you would win. It’s an irrational leap of judgment, but without it you will lose.
I know this is the only way to win the lottery because the lottery is just like every other thing that happens in the universe that’s removed the slightest bit from human control – it operates on the principle of irony. The universe loves irony. People who study the universe will tell you that the universe follows rational, logical principles, but they’re wrong. The universe only seems to follow those principles because it doesn’t actually follow them, and the more it appears to be following them the more ironic it is. The universe isn’t satisfied with coincidences, or clever little happenings, it wants irony and it keeps irony going. You can see it from the most basic principles to the most complex. Quantum Mechanics is full of irony. Brownian Motion is ironic. The very existence of life, an organized self-perpetuating entity arising out of a slushy of star-dust that should only ever increase in disorganization, is ironic. Consciousness is ironic – I know that I am, but I have no way of knowing how I am, how I continue to be, how it’s possible that I could and seemingly will stop being, and why any of this is, and I can’t stop trying to find answers to these questions because I’m a consciousness. Large groups of things, like a planet, don’t behave the same way the individual things, say a single massive particle, behave. Irony. Even happenings in everyday human life are ironic. It’s a great day on the peninsula so you go out to the beach to fly a kite and when you get there the weather is terrible. Irony. You need to get to work quickly but you end up stopped at nearly every red light. Irony. You walk into a casino with the intention of losing the $5 you came in with, but end up making $114 at the slots. Irony. Mark Twain finds $50 on the street, decides he’s finally going to go to the Amazon and start the coca trade he’s dreamed of, but when he gets to New Orleans to take a boat to Brazil he finds out that there isn’t a boat to Brazil, there never was one, and now he’s stuck in New Orleans. Irony. Plans never go the way they’re supposed to go and will frequently play out in ways you hadn’t thought of. Irony. You love your childhood and you’re happy and don’t ever want it to change but you can’t stay in it. Irony. Everyone else has a happy childhood and yours is terrible. Irony. Even the very creation of the universe, the unfounded ungrounded spontaneous being out of non-being, with all being grounded in it without itself being grounded in anything, is ironic. And that the universe is able to continue being in the face of non-being is ironic. I am different every day yet I am still myself. Irony. Everything is changing and we have a capacity to love, but we experience and love only things that stay the same. Irony.
There’s an overwhelming amount of data to support the idea that the universe operates on irony. You can’t prove the principle absolutely, which is ironic, but that also seems to be one of the strongest pieces of evidence in favor of it. If you think that something will happen, then, like winning the lottery, the universe must cause something else to happen in order to maintain its irony. The universe can tell no matter how small of a burst of conscious energy you put towards thinking that something will happen, and it will do something else, or somehow throw things off in the situation if you’ve already accounted for everything. No matter how carefully you spool your spaghetti, you’ll spill at least one drop of sauce. Sometimes exactly what you want to happen will happen because of self-referential irony, but that doesn’t happen too often. The universe can’t be too ironic, that wouldn’t be ironic. Conversely, if you don’t think that something will happen at all, it will. Or it won’t. It seems then that the only way to get ahead in life is not to think about anything at all. Irony.
So as long as you can follow along with this principle, the lottery isn’t an “idiot tax” as many make it out to be. It’s actually a sure thing, as long as you completely disbelieve that it is a sure thing. This explains why repeat winners aren’t infrequent.
Does everyone who wins the lottery actually make this leap of irony? Do they really somehow convince themselves that there is absolutely no way they would win even given the 1 in 175,711,536 chance of choosing all five numbers and the sixth mega number? By just participating in the lottery shouldn’t they be conceding that they believe somehow, somewhere they might win? I don’t know. Maybe the universe just gets bored and hands it out to some rando. I’ve probably skewed everything by writing this.