Alot of people are opposed to the idea of lotteries, saying that it is a tax on the poor or that it is tax on people that are bad at math. And I agree that basically no one will win the Powerball, but I think that playing (in moderation) is a good idea. And, no, my reason isn't because it gives the government money.
The reason that I think the lottery is good to play is because it gives people something to dream and hope about. When we were kids we were able to dream about what presents awaited us at the two greatest times of the year, birthdays and Christmas. For two months leading up to these holidays the wild ideas of what awaited filled my head. But as adults we don't generally get really excited about those holidays anymore, at least not enough to think about at night when going to bed.
I think we should play the lottery so that we have something to think about, to make us think "How big of a house is really too big?" Of course you will never win the jackpot, but the price per week to play will make up for itself in the hope that maybe you will win, and be able to buy a vacation house in Alaska, or maybe build an awesome library onto the house.
You shouldn't play to win, you should play to have the chance to win.