Statistics Professor Wins $100K Lottery, Shares Lottery Tip

Nicholas Kapoor, 26, teaches probability in his statistics courses.

ByABC News
November 14, 2016, 2:35 PM

— -- A statistics lecturer who bucked his undergraduate math professor’s advice to never play the lottery ended up winning a $100,000 jackpot.

Nicholas Kapoor, 26, of Monroe, Connecticut, won the $100,000 jackpot after buying a $15 Powerball ticket at a local gas station.

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.

Kapoor 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 recalled.

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.”