Near Miss Beliefs: Close Doesn’t Count
Another common saying often heard about gambling is this: “I only needed ______ and I would have won”. It could be one more number in bingo or one more touchdown for the home team, but the idea is the same: “I was so close to winning!” Almost winning can be exciting (or sometimes frustrating), but remember: almost winning in gambling is much more common than actually winning. For example, for every person who gets all six numbers in Lotto 6/49, there are about 250 people who only needed one more number. The same applies to most slot machines and VLTs, where almost winning is far more common than actually winning.
Some people mistakenly believe that almost winning means an actual win can’t be too far behind or that their chances must be improving. Neither belief is correct. While near misses are exciting, they don’t mean you are any closer to winning. Don’t get fooled into spending more money than you had initially planned because you get a near miss. A near miss is still a miss, and usually the payout is nothing.