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Assumption. The correct answer choice is (D)
Although one is very unlikely to win the lottery, the few who do win receive significant media
attention. And most people are aware of the issues that get significant attention from the media.
From these two premises, the author concludes that many people greatly overestimate their chances
of winning the lottery. The author has not explicitly said so, but clearly believes that many people’s
awareness of lottery wins equates with many people’s overestimation of their own chances of
Premise: Lottery winners get a lot of media attention.
Premise: Most people are aware of big media stories.
Conclusion: Therefore many people overestimate their own chances of winning.
The unstated premise—the supporter assumption, in this case—will likely tie the awareness of big
winners to overestimation of one’s chances to win.
Answer choice (A): The author makes no mention of the media’s downplaying the odds of winning,
and this choice fails to provide the supporter assumption prephrased above.
Answer choice (B): There is no discussion of the other parties who receive significant media
attention, and this choice is not an assumption on which the author’s argument depends.
Answer choice (C): The author does not say or imply that the media is the sole reason for people’s
overestimation of their chances, so the argument does not depend on this assumption.
Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. This answer links the elements which were
not explicitly linked in the stimulus: awareness of others’ big wins must lead some to overestimate
their own prospects for such a win.
To test this choice, we can apply the Assumption Negation Technique, negating the answer choice
to see if taking away the assumption will weaken the author’s argument. The negated version of this
answer choice is “Becoming aware of major jackpots leads no one to overestimate his or her own
chances to win.” This negated version would certainly weaken the author’s conclusion, confirming
this to be the correct answer choice.
Answer choice (E): The only group mentioned in this context is that of the people who greatly
overestimate their own chances to win the lottery. There is no discussion about those who do not
overestimate their chances.