Stupidity Tax UK

Lee Montgomery 2017/2018

Stupidity Tax explores our fascination with prediction and gambling against the epic failure of the vast majority of all lottery players. For the year 2015, Lee analysed data sets of historical winning Powerball Lottery numbers in the US and developed data visualisations to create future predictive ‘wins’. For an entire year he kept a blog of all the numbers he played, and the visualisations, sonifications and philosophy he created to generate those numbers. The blog also includes a running commentary which takes us through his rollercoaster of emotion; from wry disdain to hope, sadness and disappointment and, at times, despair at the compulsive grip of the activity. He muses on the possibility that he will win in the future and create a time machine to plant numbers for himself in the past.

For the UK version of the work, Lee is using the entire dataset of past National Lottery figures, and predicting new ones with different analysis techniques each week. Follow for Lee’s 2018 predictions.

Graphic design and wall layout of ODI installation by Adrian Philpott


Printed blog posts, data visualisations of US lottery, screencast of live blog, National Lottery data, RaspberryPi


2018 at the Open Data Institute

Data Types

Identifiable, Open, Retrieved, Shared, Social, State, Temporal

About the Artist

Lee Montgomery is an Associate Professor in the Experiments in Art and Technology area in the Dept of Art at the University of New Mexico. He has a BA in Film from Bard College, and an MFA in New Genres…
Read more