The thrill and rush of possibly winning started to wear off after about the twentieth losing ticket. Each card had a couple of “Life” symbols on them, and every time you got a second you just dreamed of seeing the third one under the remaining graphite. However it never appeared and never will and it just kind of turned depressing. How could people put themselves through this humiliation and teasing every day of their lives?
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear
on May 18, 2013 -
The classic criticism of the lottery is that the people who play are the ones who can least afford to lose; that the lottery is a sink of money, draining wealth from those who most need it. Some lottery advocates . . . have tried to defend lottery-ticket buying as a rational purchase of fantasy—paying a dollar for a day's worth of pleasant anticipation, imagining yourself as a millionaire. But consider exactly what this implies. It would mean that you're occupying your valuable brain with a fantasy whose real probability is nearly zero—a tiny line of likelihood which you, yourself, can do nothing to realize. . . . Which makes the lottery another kind of sink: a sink of emotional energy. [via]
It was a tiny town of farmers, a village where everyone knew everyone and nearly all struggled to make ends meet. But then, a few days before Christmas, they won the largest lottery in the history of Spain. The entire town. All of them. (Well, almost all of them.) Instantly, Sodeto became known as the luckiest place on earth. Michael Paterniti visits the town that fortune smiled upon and finds that the people there—now flush—are still uncertain of just how lucky they really are.
posted by empath
on May 16, 2013 -
“This restaurant lifestyle is killing us,”
Mandy said one night as we took a break from our creative endeavors to eat Walgreen’s off-brand ice cream sandwiches on our front stoop in the cool, salty night air. “Look at us. It’s two o’clock in the morning and we’re still awake. Working. Eating. Drinking shitty wine. Every night. It’s unhealthy! How can I work well if I don’t live well?”
“Yeah, it’s the pits. But what can we do?” I ate my ice cream sandwich slowly, nibbling around the edges.
Mandy finished her sandwich in two bites and crumpled the paper wrapper into a ball. “I’ll figure out something...”
posted by showbiz_liz
on Apr 12, 2013 -
The day would come when many West Virginians recalled the story of Jack's Powerball Christmas with a shudder at the magnitude of ruination: families asunder, precious lambs six feet under, folks undone by the lure of all that easy money.
posted by Egg Shen
on Nov 29, 2012 -
Beating the system:
The Boston Globe reports how a group of MIT students beat the Massachusetts state lottery by working out that you were almost guaranteed to get a return on the game Cash Win Fall at certain times, and only buying tickets at that point. It's reckoned that they made $48m on a $40m stake over several years, that other syndicates were also involved, and the state 'bent and broke' the rules by allowing them to buy tickets in bulk. The game was closed down after the Globe started to investigate. [more inside]
posted by DanCall
on Aug 8, 2012 -
Cracking the Scratchie.
With cheating and money laundering and statistics, this story seems like it should be about something more exciting than scratch-off lottery tickets. But it isn't.
posted by jacquilynne
on Feb 1, 2011 -
, or "Ghost Leg," is a lottery party game from Japan. At the top of a sheet there are a number of spaces for people to write their names. At the bottom there are prizes. There are an equal number of each. Between them is a map obscured behind a sheet. The map is made of straight vertical lines connecting the names and prizes. Connecting those lines at random intervals are horizontal lines. When it's time to pick winners, the sheet is removed and players can follow the lines to find their prize. You follow the line from your name down until you encounter any horizontal line, which you must follow, then continue down, continuing to follow all horizontal lines you encounter, until you reach your prize. No two horizontal lines can touch. Provided that, the process is perfectly deterministic and reversable. The same ends are reached whether you follow from the top down or the bottom up. If you have difficulty visualizing this, check the Wikipedia page
. [more inside]
posted by JHarris
on Dec 24, 2010 -
A simple idea: take an ordinary savings account, but instead of paying interest to account holders, hold a lottery to see who gets the lump sum. Freakonomics Radio investigates Prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts (Part 1
, Part 2
), which combine two things that seem completely at odds with each other: saving money and gambling. In Highland Park, MI, PLS accounts have been very successful
at converting "non-savers" into "savers". Why hasn't it caught on in the US? It's illegal in most states, of course.
posted by Jonathan Harford
on Dec 2, 2010 -
In Hoxton, there's a shop.
Run by the Ministry of Stories (and funded by the National Lottery), the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies shop provides a free space to stimulate creative writing with workshops, publishing projects and one-to-one mentoring. [more inside]
posted by jim.christian
on Nov 28, 2010 -
When Money Buys Happiness
. List the ten most expensive things (products, services or experiences) that you have ever paid for (including houses, cars, university degrees, marriage ceremonies, divorce settlements and taxes). Then, list the ten items that you have ever bought that gave you the most happiness. Count how many items appear on both lists. [more inside]
posted by zinfandel
on Jul 2, 2009 -
The day after a senator from Illinois, is elected president, the Pick 3 lottery in Illinois comes up 666
. It's happened before
, notably in Pennsylvania (12 times, including one time as part of a scam
and once earlier this year, in Maryland
. Some are jokingly (I hope) calling him the antichrist
as a result. Others, namely numbers geeks like me, are spending their lunch hours looking up the history of lotteries drawing triple numbers and sharing it with MetaFilter.
posted by sjuhawk31
on Nov 6, 2008 -
I Love My Life The Way It Is
. A collection-in-progress of unscratched scratch-off lottery tickets, the project is the brainchild of Ali Alvarez, who hopes to collect at least 8000 tickets, enough to fill a 12x12 room from floor to ceiling. Alvarez is soliciting donations of unscratched tickets from volunteers around the world, and has posted pictures of some of the ones received so far. The idea of an unscratched lottery ticket makes some people "a little crazy," but Alvarez hopes the collection will cause people to explore the ideas of "getting your hopes high, dreaming, escaping, and then usually being let down." Via.
posted by amyms
on Jun 14, 2008 -
When the working poor turn to addictive drugs to manage pain so they can keep working, that's "moral weakness, not a public health problem."
Every morning before sunup, Trapp drives 120 miles.... "This methadone makes you feel like a human being again," Trapp says. With disability rates as high as 37 percent in coal-mining areas such as Buchanan County, the region has many people with long-term pain management needs. As is the case with lots of aging miners, Trapp's addiction to pills began in a doctor's office, not a back-alley drug deal.... The clinic's counseling staff members say that many patients need to be on some sort of drug to cope with severe, long-term pain and that methadone has made them functional. And for those who lack insurance or access to more personalized care, it is often the only affordable option. [more inside]
posted by orthogonality
on Jan 15, 2008 -
is an auction site with a twist. Pay to bid, then once enough fees have been received, the lowest unmatched bid wins. Shall we play for £500
? Or a house
posted by imperium
on Jun 20, 2007 -
We won the f*ing lottery!
Ingredients: TiVo of last week's lottery run, trusting friend, friends looking to capitalize on the relationship between the two and a lottery ticket for this
week's lottery to seal the deal. (Um, yes, via) WARNING:
Contains video, profanity, Milli Vanilli
posted by Ogre Lawless
on Dec 30, 2005 -
I won't get to see any of the second season of Lost until summer 2006 'cause I live in Ireland. I also didn't care enough about the first season to use the "numbers" as my lottery numbers. I should have, they (almost) came up in the National Lottery on November 19. I say almost, instead of 42 it was 24 (sorry Douglas).
posted by Elmore
on Dec 16, 2005 -
Va. Man Claims $239 Million Jackpot
Note in passing that this took place during the Bush administration!
"A retired truck driver claimed a $239 million Mega Millions jackpot Thursday, calling the second-largest lottery payout in history "no big thing to me." His wife vowed to "shop till I drop.""
posted by Postroad
on Apr 1, 2004 -
Is he the world's unluckiest man
or the luckiest
? Either way, Croatia's Frane Selak, who had already gained attention
for escaping death seven times,
has just hit the jackpot with his first lottery ticket in forty years. How can we normal mortals compete?
posted by rory
on Jun 19, 2003 -
A good omen?
Here's hoping 2002 turns out to be a better year than 2001. This seems like a good enough start.
posted by tsumo
on Jan 1, 2002 -
Lottery Madness Grips the Delusional Nation
Odds of winning Powerball: 80 million to one
Odds of dying in an airplane crash: 7 million to one
Odds of being hit by lightening: 600,000 to one
Odds of perishing in a California earthquake: 600,000 to one
Odds of dying in an automobile accident: 20,000 to one
While legalized gambling may suck, at least your life is priceless?
posted by yarf
on Aug 22, 2001 -
I am not a person who really support the lotto but I couldn't be happier that a poor grocery bagger won millions of dollars. What makes me even happier is they plan to give some of it back to the community.
posted by aj100
on Jun 29, 2001 -
US Woman Killed in Malaysia "Police believe an American woman whose remains were recently unearthed in Malaysia was used as a human sacrifice in a ritual to obtain lottery numbers from the spirits..."
The article didn't say if they won. Not that it matters.
posted by mcsweetie
on Jun 26, 2001 -
Who wants to be a...Grab.com is giving away $1 Billion
Grab.com, an email marketing company announced it would give $1 Billion to the player who selects the same series of seven numbers between one and 77 that Grab.com picks at random on Dec. 28.
As the article points out, the odds of any one individual claiming the $1 billion prize are a subatomic 1 in 2,404,808,340. Compared to the chance that Berkshire Hathaway will have to cough up $1 billion this year to cover one of its natural disaster insurance policies which is something like 1 in 100.
posted by brian
on Oct 9, 2000 -
I bought 3 Quick Picks for the Lottery
this week, thinking that if there were any balance in the universe I'd be due for a big payoff...
If SuperLotto was High/Low, I'd have nailed it. I got one
. 5 number for lotto x 3 quick picks = 15 potential correct numbers.
I got ONE
On the upside, I'm still due
. Touch me now, I'm jam packed full of luck potentiality...
posted by CrazyUncleJoe
on Mar 4, 2000 -