If You Had The 'Secret' To Winning The Lottery, Would You Patent It?
from the economically-challenging-questions dept
Okay, so this story is bizarre enough by itself, but there’s an odd twist at the end. A husband and wife who held four separate winning lottery tickets claims to have figured out a secret formula for winning the lottery. That seems highly unlikely, of course. There is no formula that can predict totally independent numbers. The four winning tickets all used the same numbers, so there’s no proof that the couple did anything other than get lucky by having the same number they played four different times hit.
However, their lawyer is claiming that the couple is “exploring patent protection.” Want to see a sign of how ridiculous the patent situation has become? If you had figured out the (non-existent) secret to winning the lottery, would you use it to (a) keep winning the lottery or (b) patent it? It’s only in these bizarre times that a couple would even think that (b) would be the more profitable option. Of course, if there really were some secret to predicting independent numbers that the couple had figured out, wouldn’t you think that any lottery commission would immediately change how their lottery worked the second that patent was published?