…is when you are super-rich.
The hubbub over the hedge-fund managers who struck it big in the Powerball suggests that we have a problem with the image of the rich getting richer. Yet, it’s only the super-rich who should be playing the lottery in the first place.
Every additional dollar you have means less to you in terms of general utility and you worry less about losing it. Put differently, your first dollar is worth much more to you than your 114 millionth dollar. At some point, that dollar then becomes worth it for you to bet on a highly risky investment on which you might accidentally hit the jackpot.
Obviously it’s difficult to assess how much utility that dollar would have for a random individual (I’m sure some economist has calculated this using some arbitrary formula). Regardless, the lottery essentially functions as a regressive tax that only makes sense for the richest people to play.