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November 3, 2011 9:40 AM   Subscribe

Global British Columbia Sports Anchor Barry Deley wins lotto home draw, live on his own TV channel. But it turns out he's got an even more personal connection to the lottery.
posted by Potomac Avenue (78 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
This year, the lottery made a profit of about $2.2 million. A hundred per cent of proceeds from the lottery will go toward medical research benefiting children.
Never change, Canada.
posted by Plutor at 9:46 AM on November 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


The prize is a house?
posted by cmoj at 9:49 AM on November 3, 2011


He is the 1%. Burn him.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:54 AM on November 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's a $2.5 million house or $2 million in cash. And the personal connection is that Barry’s daughter was a leukemia patient at the BC Children’s Hospital seven years ago.

I love it when everyone goes, "Port Moody?"
posted by phaedon at 9:55 AM on November 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


That is one great piece of live TV.
posted by unSane at 9:58 AM on November 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you win a $2.5 million house, would you have to pay $750,000 in taxes to keep it?
Or would that only be taxable upon selling it?

Because for sure if you did, that would mean you'd be forced to take the $2 million, and then pay the $600,000 or so taxes on that.
(assuming nominal tax rate of 30%...)
posted by Theta States at 10:00 AM on November 3, 2011


It's so Canadian too, in America there would be throaty screaming of excitement... here everyone seems vaguely embarrassed to be the center of attention. Adorable.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:01 AM on November 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Lottery winnings are not taxable in Canada, Theta States.
posted by jeather at 10:07 AM on November 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Half an hour and no Kent Brockman joke?
posted by Bromius at 10:10 AM on November 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


The anchors make that clip, especially the spontaneous, unquestioned decision to get him on the air. That was good.
posted by Turkey Glue at 10:10 AM on November 3, 2011


Reminds me of Shorthouse/Larchied winning the 50/50 draw on air at a Canucks broadcast.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:20 AM on November 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I could watch that gal adjust her underwear all day long.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:22 AM on November 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


That was fun. I imagine him after the phone call ends, standing there alone in the cereal aisle processing it all.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 10:23 AM on November 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is my local news station and they are always pretty spontaneous which is why they rule. Squire Barnes (sports guy calling Barry Deley) is always up for silly which means I know what's up with local sports despite not being that interested; he's just fun to watch. Yay Barry!
posted by moneyjane at 10:28 AM on November 3, 2011


Up until today I thought people in BC had a neutral accent.

Lottery winnings aren't taxable, but I think the property taxes might give most people pause. If I were him, I'd go for the cash.
posted by maudlin at 10:29 AM on November 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


THAT WAS RIGHTFULLY MINE.
posted by neuromodulator at 10:32 AM on November 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, that made me smile. Nice to see local news with real personality instead of the unpleasant "Concerned About Everything And Too-Tightly Scripted" stuff we've had here in Boston for the last decade.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:36 AM on November 3, 2011


I think the property taxes might give most people pause.

The property tax on a $2.5 million house in Langley is $13,903 per year, plus around a grand for sewer/water/garbage fees. I think a sportscaster can afford $1200 a month housing costs.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:37 AM on November 3, 2011


And a cat will have a very nice home. I like how when DeLey mentioned that his daughter has been begging for a cat, they cut quickly to a generic picture of an adorable kitten.
posted by longsleeves at 10:38 AM on November 3, 2011


Ironically, Barry’s daughter was a leukemia patient at the BC Children’s Hospital seven years ago.

What is it with Canadians misusing the term "irony"?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:43 AM on November 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Horace Rumpole: What is it with Canadians misusing the term "irony"?

We're deficient.
posted by gman at 10:45 AM on November 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I thought we explained our stance in song, over a decade ago.
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:52 AM on November 3, 2011 [16 favorites]


The property tax on a $2.5 million house in Langley is $13,903 per year, plus around a grand for sewer/water/garbage fees. I think a sportscaster can afford $1200 a month housing costs.

Yeah, but then he would have to live in Langley. And commute from Langley. I'm not sure which is worse.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:55 AM on November 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


I thought we explained our stance in song, over a decade ago.

I dunno, I thought that was a little *too* ironic.
posted by maryr at 11:04 AM on November 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I totally loved BC when I was there. First weekend, the Canadian version of the big obnoxious tabloid paper - the sort of thing that, in this country would have something like this or this on the cover had a full page picture of a badger on theirs, with a warning that someone had seen a badger acting a little odd in Stanley Park. There was no way to know, of course, but it could have maybe been rabid, so you should be careful up there, okay?

But what really convinced me I loved Canada was this: Back in the US, within a few days of my arrival in Canada, a man on trial in Atlanta managed to grab a bailiff's gun, shoot the judge and a couple of other people, and escape from the courthouse. He was believed to be holed up in a nearby parking garage, so the whole thing was this manic whirl of video on CNN of terrified civilians running from buildings, ducked over with their hands over their heads, and black clad tactical cops with assault rifles storming shit - all viewed live from the helicopters buzzing as low overhead as they could get to instantly bring you every terrifying moment of panic.

So I switched over to CBC - which also had a "live from our helicopter" moment going on at the same time. Of a dog that had somehow gotten loose on the Trans-Canada Highway outside Toronto. So they'd stopped traffic and about a half dozen cops - in regular shirtsleeve uniforms - were trying to hem the dog in. There were far too few of them, and so they were trying to take up as much space as they could, arms spread wide and weaving back and forth like cirque du soleil clowns while the dog - either spooked enough that it didn't want to be caught, or having decided this was a fun game to play - danced around just out of their reach.

And the CBC had scrambled their helicopter for this. It was a really simple choice for me after that.
posted by Naberius at 11:05 AM on November 3, 2011 [20 favorites]


Canada may seem like a nice country, but it's just that we have good PR people.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:10 AM on November 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Meh. $2 Million Canadian is what, about three hundred bucks U.S.?

Oh, right, the U.S. Dollar isn't worth anything anymore. Well, good for him, then.

Also, does Canada tax the hell out of prize money like the U.S. does?
posted by The World Famous at 11:32 AM on November 3, 2011


Meh. $2 Million Canadian is what, about three hundred bucks U.S.?

Ha, when a band I was in covered IF I HAD A MILLION DOLLARS recently we had this line in it:

If I had a million dollars
I'd have a million five American


and also

If I had a million dollars
I'd buy you a beer
But not American beer, that's cruel


Well, it WAS Canada Day.
posted by unSane at 11:36 AM on November 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Some people definitely are making the Kent Brockman jokes.
posted by modernnomad at 11:41 AM on November 3, 2011


See, now you're making me nostalgic for Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet.
posted by The World Famous at 11:41 AM on November 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Heh, those were the days. Get paid American, spend Canadian. Good tiiiiiimes.
posted by unSane at 11:47 AM on November 3, 2011


I don't think (in adulthood, anyhow) that I've ever known a coworker's phone number off the top of my head.
posted by waitingtoderail at 12:04 PM on November 3, 2011


The anchor seemed a little irked...
posted by zeoslap at 12:08 PM on November 3, 2011


Also, does Canada tax the hell out of prize money like the U.S. does?

It always amuses me when people from the USA encounter lotteries from other countries. Lets compare the USA and the UK (I don't know Canada's rules).

USA - Win $100,000,000 jackpot. Get paid in instalments over some huge length of time (typically 25yrs or more) and pay taxes on it. You can also accept a massively reduced sum immediately, typically 50% of the win. So taking a nominal reduction of 50%, the IRS withhold 25% before you're even paid, and then you may have to pay more to make it up to the federal rate of approx 35% at the year-end. You end up with something like $32,500,000.

UK - Win £100,000,000 jackpot. Get paid in full immediately, no tax due. You're swimming in a McDuck vault of grubby cash by the end of the week.

I think a better question here is how the heck the USA has managed to convince lottery players (and contest entrants in general) that they should be taxed at point of win rather than point of purchase, and that its acceptable for the advertised payout to be something you get over a third of a lifetime (if at all).

Irrelevant rant. sorry.
posted by samworm at 12:17 PM on November 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Canada, as I mentioned above, does not tax one-off lottery winnings. I believe it does tax annuities if you win those, which is why no Canadian ever chooses an annuity for a lottery win.

One assumes that if Deley chooses the house and lives in it, the capital gains will not be taxable as it is a primary residence, and otherwise it will be the gains over the "purchase price" of 250k.
posted by jeather at 12:22 PM on November 3, 2011


I think a better question here is how the heck the USA has managed to convince lottery players (and contest entrants in general) that they should be taxed at point of win rather than point of purchase, and that its acceptable for the advertised payout to be something you get over a third of a lifetime (if at all).

Since the lottery is, itself, a voluntary tax on being stupid, it's not hard to further take advantage of the defining characteristic of the people who volunteer to be subject to that tax by taxing their stupidity even more.
posted by The World Famous at 12:27 PM on November 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Since the lottery is, itself, a voluntary tax on being stupid...

Yeah, I bet this Deley guy is feeling really stupid now.
posted by howling fantods at 12:29 PM on November 3, 2011


I think a better question here is how the heck the USA has managed to convince lottery players....

Of course, the other side of the coin is that Americans can (partially) deduct gambling losses, and Canadians cannot. For the average person that doesn't win jackpots but gambles, this is a much, much, much better deal.
posted by loquax at 12:31 PM on November 3, 2011


Since the lottery is, itself, a voluntary tax on being stupid

FFS, it's a fundraiser for the children's hospital.
posted by neuromodulator at 12:39 PM on November 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yeah, I bet this Deley guy is feeling really stupid now.

I think the motivation for most people purchasing tickets for this would be to help support medical care for children.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:43 PM on November 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think a better question here is how the heck the USA has managed to convince lottery players

What can't you convince lottery players of?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:47 PM on November 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, it's a tax on the stupid. Far better to send the hospital a cheque for fifty bucks than buy one of those stupid tickets.

Here's a little history. About twenty years ago the first hospital lottery in BC was launched. It was an innovative concept, tickets were limited to some quantity you could get your head around, and the prize payout was enormous, something like one in three would win something. Tyhe granbd prize was always a house/car combo. Lesser prizes were bizarre donations; A CHAINSAW! A DVD SET OF BONANZA! Things you didn't reaqly want but were mildly compelling due the high likliehood you'd get one.

Pretty much every charitable association in town aped the plan, and now the province is swamped in hospital/firemen/cats with asthma lotteries, so much now that they are beginning to fail and involve serious liabilities for the charitable organizations.
posted by Keith Talent at 12:53 PM on November 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


FFS, it's a fundraiser for the children's hospital.

So its a raffle, not a lottery.
posted by banshee at 12:55 PM on November 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know I'm not the first to say, but The Simpsons did it.

And ya, Squire was for sure jelly.
posted by Premeditated Symmetry Breaking at 1:04 PM on November 3, 2011


There was a legal case involving one of these hospital lottery fundraisers in Toronto a while back. Some guy ordered a bunch of tickets, but didn't pay for them. Then he won one of the big prizes and showed up with a hundred bucks to cover the ticket. Ultimately it went to court, and the guy prevailed. That, my friends, is how to play a lottery.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 1:09 PM on November 3, 2011


I just found a cite for my story above online and it seems I misremembered some of the details:

"Controversy dogged the dream home lottery in 1998. Sylvain Letang, a financial advisor, won a package worth $425,000, including a 3,000-square-foot, four-bedroom home (a Citizen story at the time described it as a "monster home"). It included a sunken living room, three-sided fireplace and ensuite. Unfortunately, Letang's $100 cheque bounced, unleashing a public relations firestorm at the hospital. He was awarded the house anyway. "
posted by sevenyearlurk at 1:17 PM on November 3, 2011


I think the motivation for most people purchasing tickets for this would be to help support medical care for children.

Do winners often donate their winnings?
posted by The World Famous at 1:34 PM on November 3, 2011


No idea, but having spent enough time in the company of grownups in BC, this is the sort of thing (like "Movember") that plays well at the office - buy a ticket and help out BC Children's Hospital. So it's not really a tax on the stupid. We have Lotto 649 for that.

On the other hand, as Keith mentioned above, hospital foundations in British Columbia are relying more and more on lotteries to cover basic operational expenses, and no one is buying anymore. Another link.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:02 PM on November 3, 2011


Some guy ordered a bunch of tickets, but didn't pay for them. Then he won one of the big prizes and showed up with a hundred bucks to cover the ticket. Ultimately it went to court, and the guy prevailed. That, my friends, is how to play a lottery.

That's brilliant. If only we could figure out a way to do this with our entire financial system on a macro scale...
posted by tapesonthefloor at 2:08 PM on November 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


No idea, but having spent enough time in the company of grownups in BC, this is the sort of thing (like "Movember") that plays well at the office - buy a ticket and help out BC Children's Hospital. So it's not really a tax on the stupid. We have Lotto 649 for that.

I'm not sure what your logic is there. People who would not otherwise voluntarily pay to fund something being willing to pay to fund it when they are offered a lottery ticket is still a tax on being stupid, regardless of what the thing is that they would not pay to fund were it not tied to the lottery.

Lotteries typically do go to fund things that need funding. The fact that this particular lottery funds Children's Hospital doesn't significantly distinguish it from other lotteries, as far as I can tell. The California Lottery, for example, funds public education, but it's still a tax on being stupid.

Doesn't Lotto 649 fund something?
posted by The World Famous at 2:08 PM on November 3, 2011


In British Columbia, lotteries are funded by the BC Lottery Commission. Proceeds are used for general revenues and, until 2010, also been used to provide funding for community groups and the arts. Since the affects of the recession have been felt by the provincial government, starting in the fall of 2009, most gaming revenues go directly back to government.

As I have said, from my perspective people have supported "lotteries" aimed at providing funding for hospitals etc out of a sense that, not matter what, the money they spend on tickets will be used for a greater good.

It's not logical, it's emotional. People do not always behave logically.

The BCLC products (including 649) really are a tax on the stupid, and the real shame here in BC is that government has relied more and more over the past decade on what is essentially an unethical source of revenue.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:18 PM on November 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


In British Columbia, lotteries are funded by the BC Lottery Commission.

Bah, what I meant was lotteries in BC are operated by BCLC.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:18 PM on November 3, 2011


Far better to send the hospital a cheque for fifty bucks than buy one of those stupid tickets.

Not sure about BC, but in Ontario buying one of those tickets isn't tax deductible, whereas a charitable donation would be. As far as it being a tax on the stupid, the money is still going to a good cause so at least all those "stupid" people have their heart in the right place.
posted by howling fantods at 2:36 PM on November 3, 2011


This made me really happy for some reason.

Also, I went to college in Tacoma and I remember from freshman year a bunch of my friends would go up to Canada or North Sierra for hiking or climbing or something and picked up a BC accent faster than most people catch the flu, that's how cool it is. If you're into sounding like a extra-polite Vikings fan, that is.

Also, Sports caster wins lottery and still weaves in NHL Canucks topical jibe in there was well.

Also, girl newscaster: cute.

Adorable all around.
posted by midmarch snowman at 3:14 PM on November 3, 2011


I miss Lynn Colliar, Sophie Lui's predecessor.
posted by KokuRyu at 3:54 PM on November 3, 2011


Donate $50 to support Children's Hospital or donate $50 to support Children's Hospital and possibly also win 2.5 million dollars. Right. The second option is definitely stupid.
posted by moneyjane at 5:59 PM on November 3, 2011


Donate $50 to support Children's Hospital or donate $50 to support Children's Hospital and possibly also win 2.5 million dollars. Right. The second option is definitely stupid.

If the chance to win is what convinced you to donate, you're stupid.
posted by The World Famous at 6:02 PM on November 3, 2011


If the chance to win is what convinced you to donate, you're stupid.

Stupid? Really? Because I'm just not sure people sit down with $50 and a spread of donation options spread out in front of them for hours waiting for something to convince them. I think people who see a display at the cash register at the drug store, think it's a good cause to support and also think it would be cool if they won a prize as well.

Simplifying human behavior to parody has never struck me as particularly useful. The hospital gets the donation win or lose. Explain to me how that's stupid.
posted by moneyjane at 6:17 PM on November 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Should have been 'people see a display'.
posted by moneyjane at 6:19 PM on November 3, 2011


Or don't. This is silly. It was a cool post and I'm glad the guy won. Cheers!
posted by moneyjane at 6:25 PM on November 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


If the chance to win is what convinced you to donate, you're stupid.

The name-calling by "anti-lottery" folks in this thread reminds me of other MetaFilter threads about religion. Don't worry Spock, you've beaten us with logic.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:30 PM on November 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


The property tax on a $2.5 million house in Langley is $13,903 per year

There are 2.5 milliion dollar houses in Langley?? TAKE THE CASH. /bubble
posted by mek at 8:03 PM on November 3, 2011


First prize, a house in Langley. Second prize, TWO houses in Langley.
posted by Keith Talent at 8:59 PM on November 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Since the lottery is, itself, a voluntary tax on being stupid,

Alternatively, since although everyone knows that it is extremely unlikely to be them, people do actually win the lottery, it is a tax on hope. Except it isn't compulsary and the money doesn't go to the Government so it isn't a tax at all. The money does go to charity, however, so I guess that makes it a voluntary charity donation for the eternally optimistic. Oh noes. And, of course, lots of people find the act of betting on an unlikely outcome inherently enjoyable which is the whole reason gambling exists. So it is a both voluntary charity donation and enjoyable weekly entertainment for the eternally optimistic. Oh, and a job creation scheme as well.

So what was your point? Apart from the fact you hold people in contempt because you can't see through stupid second-hand aphorisms?
posted by ninebelow at 5:34 AM on November 4, 2011 [6 favorites]


Let's say you spend $5 a week on lottery tickets.

At the end of the year you are out $250.

On the other hand, you have an incredibly small, but definitely non-zero, chance of becoming a millionaire. That $5 also bought you some entertainment and probably a little hope that made the work week more bearable.

Let's say you don't spend $5 a week on lottery tickets.

At the end of the year you are $250 richer, unless you spent it on some stupid shit, which you probably did.

You have zero chance of becoming a millionaire.

People who criticize lottery players as irrational because their mathematical expectation is a net loss do not understand how life is actually lived by real people.

You can argue all you like that lotteries are a rip off, and most of them are, but calling people who play them stupid is a reflection on you, not them.
posted by unSane at 6:35 AM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you think Andrew Coyne's bad, just try reading Judy Rebick.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:52 AM on November 4, 2011


". . . That $5 also bought you some entertainment and probably a little hope that made the work week more bearable . . ."
posted by unSane at 9:35 AM on November 4 [1 favorite +] [!]


Seconding what unSane said. I buy lottery tickets. For me the 5 dollars is a fair price for the chance to fantasize a little bit about what I would do with the money. If they're scratchers, I'll probably only buy them in a group setting, or at least scratch them off in a group setting for added entertainment value. I have won zero dollars. Maybe someday I would win something to make the marginal cost of the tickets a little less hefty, probably not, though.

I could probably just sit at home and think about what I'd do with 45k (home downpayment) 450k (pay off student loans) or 45,000k (hello Costa Rica, interested in any new residents?) but it's just more visceral when you're holding a 5 dollar Schrodinger's cashiers check that, until you scratch it, worth both millions and worth nothing.

I think the last thing you did with $5 is stupid.
posted by midmarch snowman at 9:35 AM on November 4, 2011


ninebelow: So what was your point?

What, you couldn't be bothered to read the rest of my sentence? You copy/pasted at the comma and never finished reading it to figure out what the point was? I quoted the question to which I was responding, but I guess you didn't read that. And then I made a one-sentence comment, which you only read the first half of. I'm not going to argue with you. But I am happy to discuss what I actually wrote - the entire sentence. If you want to go back and read my entire one-sentence comment (and, ideally, the quoted question to which I was responding) so that you know what my point was and then you would like to comment on that, I think that would be great.

unSane: At the end of the year you are $250 richer, unless you spent it on some stupid shit, which you probably did.

I do not dispute that there are other stupid ways to spend money. Some of them are even taxed. I think the lottery is unique, and it seems like you and others here agree that there is no way other than the lottery to spend money in exchange for a promise that is so transparently illusory and yet so irrationally satisfying.

You have zero chance of becoming a millionaire.

I disagree with the premise that everything you could possibly do with $250 other than play the lottery results in zero chance of becoming a millionaire. But I do agree that you can't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket.

People who criticize lottery players as irrational because their mathematical expectation is a net loss do not understand how life is actually lived by real people.

I'm not criticizing lottery players as irrational. I'm criticizing the lottery for being a regressive tax system that takes advantage of people's irrationality. And I'm pointing out that that particular dynamic (i.e. the fact that the whole point is to take advantage of people's irrationality) is also the answer to the question to which I was responding, which was: "[H]ow the heck the USA has managed to convince lottery players (and contest entrants in general) that they should be taxed at point of win rather than point of purchase, and that its acceptable for the advertised payout to be something you get over a third of a lifetime (if at all)."

I understand how life is actually lived by real people. And that's a big part of the answer to the question I was responding to.

midmarch snowman: I think the last thing you did with $5 is stupid.

You're probably right. I happily admit that I do stupid things all the time.
posted by The World Famous at 10:02 AM on November 4, 2011


it seems like you and others here agree that there is no way other than the lottery to spend money in exchange for a promise that is so transparently illusory and yet so irrationally satisfying

Where on earth did you get that from?
posted by unSane at 10:10 AM on November 4, 2011


Where on earth did you get that from?

From here:

At the end of the year you are out $250.

On the other hand, you have an incredibly small, but definitely non-zero, chance of becoming a millionaire. That $5 also bought you some entertainment and probably a little hope that made the work week more bearable.

Let's say you don't spend $5 a week on lottery tickets.

At the end of the year you are $250 richer, unless you spent it on some stupid shit, which you probably did.


And here:

I could probably just sit at home and think about what I'd do with 45k (home downpayment) 450k (pay off student loans) or 45,000k (hello Costa Rica, interested in any new residents?) but it's just more visceral when you're holding a 5 dollar Schrodinger's cashiers check that, until you scratch it, worth both millions and worth nothing.


Sorry if I misinterpreted or mischaracterized your comment. What are some other ways to spend money in exchange for a promise that is so transparently illusory and yet so irrationally satisfying? I can't think of any at the moment.
posted by The World Famous at 10:32 AM on November 4, 2011


What are some other ways to spend money in exchange for a promise that is so transparently illusory and yet so irrationally satisfying?

Student loans.
posted by dirigibleman at 11:01 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


The latest Michael Bay movie.
posted by unSane at 11:12 AM on November 4, 2011


What are some other ways to spend money in exchange for a promise that is so transparently illusory and yet so irrationally satisfying?

Paying for basic cable. Or purchasing and HDTV. Or buying and maintaining a car. Contributing to an investment portfolio. Buying a house using a variable rate mortgage. Eating fast food. Drinking Pepsi, Coke, or other soft drinks. Smoking cigarettes. Putting your kids in front of the television while you cook dinner. Viciously arguing with like-minded people over the internet over minor differences is another one.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:17 AM on November 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


The latest Michael Bay movie.

I suppose reasonable people can disagree on whether that is as satisfying as a lottery ticket.

Student loans.

True, but that's a matter of degrees.

Paying for basic cable. Or purchasing and HDTV. Or buying and maintaining a car. Contributing to an investment portfolio. Buying a house using a variable rate mortgage. Eating fast food. Drinking Pepsi, Coke, or other soft drinks. Smoking cigarettes. Putting your kids in front of the television while you cook dinner. Viciously arguing with like-minded people over the internet over minor differences is another one.

I'm not sure how those are as irrationally satisfying (or as illusory) as a lottery ticket. Can you explain (and if possible, point to the specific reasons identified by the people in this thread for why playing the lottery is satisfying)?
posted by The World Famous at 11:19 AM on November 4, 2011


From the linked article:
Chances to win a grand prize were estimated at 1 in 288,000.
I might be wrong on this, but I think $2 million divided by 288000 gives an expected value of about $7. Not hugely relevant to arguments about lotteries in general, but honestly not a massively "irrational" decision to make.
posted by rollick at 11:23 AM on November 4, 2011


I'm not sure how those are as irrationally satisfying (or as illusory) as a lottery ticket. Can you explain (and if possible, point to the specific reasons identified by the people in this thread for why playing the lottery is satisfying)?

Is this a practice test, or will marks go towards our MetaFilter report cards?
posted by KokuRyu at 12:20 PM on November 4, 2011


Is this a practice test, or will marks go towards our MetaFilter report cards?

Neither. But you might win a million dollars.
posted by The World Famous at 12:22 PM on November 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


We all take chances on the basis of a small probability of irrational satisfaction on a daily basis. I, for one, got out of bed today. I also plan to go outside. I have no idea what will happen to my hopes of not being rent asunder by bears or rained upon. I live in Vancouver after all.

It's actually far more predictable how I will feel buying a lottery ticket; I will either have the best day ever if I win, or I won't win and I'll somehow find the strength to go on. Life is predicated on our ability to find contentment in small things. If we had to rely on our Selfless Virtue-o-meter ratings to Spock ourselves out of bed every day the only path to loads of cash and insufferable satisfaction would be in becoming the local Rope 'n' Tree dealer. Sorry. No sale.
posted by moneyjane at 11:28 AM on November 6, 2011


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