...and while it has significantly better odds than the actual lottery, it's much the same thing. Part of what drives the Valley -- and the IT startup industry in general -- is that it's very easy to track down large numbers of people who have, in fact, become millionaires (or better) through stock options and buy outs. It is a siren song that occasionally pays off.
The problem since the late 1990s is that vast amounts of capital have distorted the natural harsh realities of running a business, not to mention Economics 101. Too many tech startup business plans are, in effect, "Get funding. Create buzz. Get more funding. Sell out to a firm that actually makes money or go public." It occasionally works -- and all you have to do is read the industry press to see the multi-billion-dollar IPOs/acquisitions that never panned out.
Now, excuse me while I go back to work on my indie game and my graphic novel.