The higher the lottery jackpot climbs, the more folks are inclined to dream big about what they would do if they won the ultimate prize.
According to Cleveland Clinic psychologist Dr. Joseph Rock, there is no harm in folks fantasizing about what they would spend the money on.
Dreaming makes the brain feel good
Dr. Rock said that the brain releases hormones when people fantasize that make them feel better.
“If we’re imagining being on a vacation in the Caribbean or winning this money and being able to spend it, it actually makes us feel better physically,” said Dr. Rock. “Different hormones are released; different neurotransmitters are released in our bodies and we feel better thinking about stuff like that.”
No chance? No problem
Even though the chances of winning are pretty slim, Dr. Rock said the human brain isn’t worried about the odds of becoming a billionaire.
Because the brain isn’t wired to think about probability, folks can actually delude themselves into thinking they have a decent chance of winning.
Play with friends or coworkers
Dr. Rock said that a big lottery jackpot also tends to increase camaraderie, as folks typically enjoy buying tickets in groups.
“I think really when you’re doing something like with people at work, where you’re all kicking in some money, then it becomes a group activity, you all get kind of excited together, but you all know you probably aren’t going to win,” said Dr. Rock.
The key to having a good time, according to Dr. Rock, is for folks to buy a ticket or two and allow themselves to dream, but to also keep expectations about winning realistic.