Gambling is a system of selling hope in exchange for money. Hope springs eternal, but money always runs out. New statistics show just how hopeless your futile dreams of striking it rich really are.

You are not going to win the lottery. Nor are you going to make your fortune over a weekend at a casino. And now, with the release of reams of new data, we can safely say that you are not going to make any money by sitting at home all day gambling online, either. The Wall Street Journal summarizes the results of two years worth of data from thousands of online gamblers playing virtual casino games:

On any given day, the chances of emerging a winner aren't too bad—the gamblers won money on 30% of the days they wagered. But continuing to gamble is a bad bet. Just 11% of players ended up in the black over the full [two year] period, and most of those pocketed less than $150.

These numbers apply whether you're playing blackjack and roulette online, or in person at a casino. A change of location will not improve the statistics for you.

In other words, you'd be far better off financially picking up a single penny off the sidewalk, and then doing nothing else for two years, than you would be by gambling continuously for two years, even if you consulted the "Lucky Numbers of the Day."

This is the real world. There are no shortcuts. Ditch your pie-in-the-sky dreams. The only way to get rich is through good old-fashioned, roll-up-your-sleeves, relentless, determined, unceasing hard work. Or by having rich parents.

[Photo: Flickr]