Indian American Prof. wins $100,000 lottery jackpot, makes himself role model in probability class

Nicholas Kapoor went against the advice of a former math teacher.


An Indian American professor of statistics at Fairfield University, Nicholas Kapoor, 26, has made himself a role model teaching probability to students in his class, after winning a $100,000 lottery jackpot.

Kapoor, of Monroe, Connecticut, also went against the advice of his undergraduate math professor to never play the lottery, reported ABC News.

Kapoor teaches statistics at Fairfield University and had lectured his students about probability just prior to his win. He is now using himself as a real-life example in class. He buys a lottery ticket almost weekly despite what he said his undergraduate probability professor taught him.

“He’d always show us that you shouldn’t play the lottery because the odds of winning are so small,” Kapoor told ABC News. “My counterargument was always, ‘Yeah, but somebody has to win.’ “And he would say, ‘Yeah, but that’s not going to be you.’”

Kapoor said he sent his old professor a message on Facebook after picking up his check from Connecticut Lottery headquarters earlier this month.

“I said, ‘Remember how you always told us …’” Kapoor said. “And he said, ‘That’s the problem with probability … ‘ So he basically said, ‘Yeah, you won but …’”

Kapoor described winning the lottery as “literally chance.” He said his own odds stood at 1 in 913,129.

“I know the lottery publishes the most frequently picked numbers but that doesn’t have an impact,” he explained. “The lottery is what’s called an independent event.”

Kapoor, who took home around $68,000 after taxes, said his only advice for playing the lottery is the same argument he made to his former professor.

“My tip is you’ve got to play to win and somebody has to win so why not you?” he said. “And my tip would be, play the lottery because your lottery supports your state.”

According to the CT Post, odds of winning the full jackpot are one in nearly 300 million, but odds of winning some kind of prize are, more reasonably, about one in about 25.

The Powerball’s popularity peaked this January when a $1.5 billion jackpot, the largest in world history, brought on a ticket-buying frenzy, reported Time magazine.

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