Bet your paycheck?
January 8, 2016 2:22 PM   Subscribe

 
Well looks like it'll take a couple weeks to calculate my 292,201,338 paycheck, not gonna waste time running the numbers.

I AM IN!
posted by symbioid at 2:26 PM on January 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


Wait.. wait... the numbers keep going up?

OMG, the lottery is a clicker game!
posted by selfnoise at 2:27 PM on January 8, 2016 [18 favorites]


This is great, I have a gambling problem now, but it didn't cost me anything!
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:33 PM on January 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


See also the classic Powerball Simulator, which tracks how many times you win each prize and how many years have elapsed. I've already won $100 twice and it only took two centuries!
posted by theodolite at 2:33 PM on January 8, 2016 [14 favorites]


Interesting, I wonder if it frontloads large wins in large purchases or if I genuinely "won" and got lucky early on with this.
posted by Phyltre at 2:38 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Just goes to show, if you want to win the lottery you have to make the right sacrifice to the right God at the right moment. Cause math is against you.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:43 PM on January 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


I don;t think it frontloads large wins at all

I threw $100,000 at it:

"You've played 57,788 times and lost a total of $105,100."
posted by das_2099 at 2:45 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]




Actually, nevermind, only six states; Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. Other states have permitted winners to claim through a blind trust, but there doesn't appear to be any real breakdown by state.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:51 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


There was a couple a number of years ago in New York, upstate I think, that seriously tried to buy a high percentage of the available tickets. Never heard what happened to them.
posted by sammyo at 2:51 PM on January 8, 2016


Shirley Jackson taught me all I need to know about lotteries.
posted by chavenet at 2:54 PM on January 8, 2016 [57 favorites]


I had an idea.
Using the "quick pick" selection and running for $1,000 gets me:
Spent$1,106
Won$107
Win/loss$-999
Balance$1

using the "birthdays" selection method and running for $1000 gets me:
Spent$1,056
Won$56
Win/loss$-1,000
Balance$0

clearly the birthday plan is inferior. anyway the big money is in scratch-offs.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:55 PM on January 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


I regularly buy a lottery ticket but I never check if I won because that would make me a sucker. (True story)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:00 PM on January 8, 2016 [13 favorites]


Spending $1 dollar and having a few hours to pleasantly dream? That's a bargain.

Spending $100 dollars a week and having a few ... wait, wait, that's terrible.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:04 PM on January 8, 2016 [11 favorites]


Shirley Jackson taught me all I need to know about lotteries.

I've learned, however, that book contains no hints on how to win the lottery.
posted by hwyengr at 3:04 PM on January 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


The Spanish Christmas Lottery makes for an interesting contrast. Tickets cost 200 euros - they're often purchased by institutions or companies and allotted fractionally, so a whole village might collectively win the grand prize. Almost everyone plays. The odds of at least getting your money back are one in ten. The winning numbers are sung aloud by children, originally orphans.
posted by theodolite at 3:06 PM on January 8, 2016 [11 favorites]


I haven't played at all! I don't see where to put in my address for my $100 check, though...
posted by Earthtopus at 3:07 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I've learned, however, that book contains no hints on how to win the lottery.

Wear armor.
posted by tittergrrl at 3:10 PM on January 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


There was a couple a number of years ago in New York, upstate I think, that seriously tried to buy a high percentage of the available tickets. Never heard what happened to them.

There have been a few cases in the world where rollovers have made the payoff larger than the cost of buying all possible tickets and a syndicate has attempted to do that and has made money. The danger is that even if you do buy all possible tickets (which is a logistical nightmare as well as being expensive) you can still find that other people have also picked the winning numbers, so you may have to share the jackpot and not come out ahead.
posted by w0mbat at 3:11 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've been using the above linked Powerball Simulator to practice. I want to really make sure my skills are up to snuff before I buy tickets and compete with the big dogs for real.
posted by sourwookie at 3:11 PM on January 8, 2016 [23 favorites]


See also the classic Powerball Simulator, which tracks how many times you win each prize and how many years have elapsed. I've already won $100 twice and it only took two centuries!

I once ran a powerball simulator that would play three times a day until you won, and it would play something like an entire week a second. I left that thing running for a few days before it actually hit the powerball, over thousands of years* and I don't think I broke even. Sometimes you know things are statistically unlikely and you try anyway. That pretty much cured me of ever wanting to buy a ticket again.

*or something close to this, I'd have to check the math
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:11 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've learned, however, that book contains no hints on how to win the lottery.

Have a twin brother or sister who owes you a favor.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:12 PM on January 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I was in line to buy a bottle of water today, and the dude in front of me bought $500 worth of tickets... and a 12-pack of Coors.
posted by infinitewindow at 3:15 PM on January 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


A friend of mine highlighted this enraging ABC "News" story about the lottery.
Are Certain Numbers Luckier Than Others?
If you opt to pick your own numbers, you might want to include 8, 54, 14, 39 and 13. Based on an ABC News analysis of past Powerball winners, these numbers are the most frequently drawn numbers.
Data journalism at its finest.
posted by Nelson at 3:16 PM on January 8, 2016 [45 favorites]


There's an interesting thing I just thought of, although I'm sure it's not terribly original.

High-level poker (hold 'em) players who are behind the dealer are the last players to bet. If you still have the flop/turn/river cards undealt, and all the players in front of you bet big, at some point you cross a threshold where it's foolish for you NOT to match the bet, no matter what you're currently holding. The potential outsized reward of pure luck outweighs your match.

I'm sure someone has run the lottery numbers to determine that threshold. At what point is it stupid NOT to throw in a dollar?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:16 PM on January 8, 2016


At what point is it stupid NOT to throw in a dollar?

Expected value says never, more or less, depending on assumptions.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:21 PM on January 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


hwyengr: "Shirley Jackson taught me all I need to know about lotteries.

I've learned, however, that book contains no hints on how to win the lottery.
"

Oh yes it does. The only way to win is not to play. (cf. "War Games")
posted by chavenet at 3:23 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


You mean the odds are greater than zero that I would win a gazillion dollars? Where do I flush $10 away for the momentary fantasy of untold wealth and freedom...
posted by diode at 3:23 PM on January 8, 2016


At what point is it stupid NOT to throw in a dollar?

When the whole office is going in on a pool and you can't stand the idea of being the one guy who still has to come in next week while all the people you hate seeing every day are laughing it up on the beach.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:23 PM on January 8, 2016 [62 favorites]


So what did we learn?
1. The expected value for the cash-up front Powerball winnings is always negative. It will never make sense to take the money up front, whether you believe the linear model or the polynomial model.
2. The expected value for the annuity, however, is break-even when the jackpot exceeds $345 million in the linear participation model and $380 million in the polynomial model. Since the polynomial model seems more accurate at higher jackpots, go with that one.
3. Taxes will probably mean that it is never profitable or sensible to play the lottery. So if you do play, try to minimize them.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:25 PM on January 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


There's a research paper (PDF) on this! Occasional state lotteries hit positive rates of return, but as of 2008:
Mega Millions and Powerball fall under the Large Ticket Sales example (7.2) of the previous section, and indeed they have never offered a positive eRoR [expected rate of return]. We now argue that in all likelihood, no future drawing of either of these lotteries will ever offer a positive eRoR.
posted by ectabo at 3:26 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I can't play this. What if I win? Then I can't win the real thing. You ain't fooling me!
posted by Splunge at 3:26 PM on January 8, 2016 [15 favorites]


So there has to be someone out there who has won at every one of these simulations they've tried, right?
posted by ODiV at 3:29 PM on January 8, 2016


Intacto
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:32 PM on January 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I keep winning at least $1 million every time I bet, no matter how much I spend. I guess the rest of you saps are all just losers.
posted by The World Famous at 3:37 PM on January 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


mrsozzy is so practical. She's like, we can redo the bathroom and kitchen. And I'm like... lady. $250 million after taxes. We can get a dinosaur skeleton.
posted by uncleozzy at 3:43 PM on January 8, 2016 [40 favorites]


I'm this weird mix of practical and dinosaur skeleton myself. I'm all like, well, I like our house, let's stay here and just pay it off.

But let's also buy a ranch with lots of Morrison Formation where we can fund our own dino digs and spend our summers digging up dino skeletons on our own land!
posted by barchan at 3:49 PM on January 8, 2016 [8 favorites]


Wow it would suck to blow your one-in-a-zillion chance by winning the fake Powerball.
posted by straight at 3:50 PM on January 8, 2016 [14 favorites]


When the whole office is going in on a pool and you can't stand the idea of being the one guy who still has to come in next week while all the people you hate seeing every day are laughing it up on the beach.

I'm that guy. $5 a week, just to be sure.
posted by Floydd at 3:52 PM on January 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


Haha. If only we could find a group of like-minded people in the Internet to pool their money and buy powerball.

Oh wait...
posted by hal_c_on at 3:55 PM on January 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Now I'm all grumpy. My husband refuses to buy a ticket so we can buy our own DINO RANCH.

He's all statistics and probability and blloga-realistic-blurgh. He's totally refusing to imagine our very own paleo ranch.

what a jerkface
posted by barchan at 4:03 PM on January 8, 2016 [15 favorites]


Let's see, how did that go? If a headline asks a question, then the answer is "no".
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:08 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah I have a spreadsheet with the prizes and probabilities and taxes and whatnot. The break even point in NY for the cash prize is somewhere around $1.75b. But I'm still tossing my two bucks into the pot anyway because it's two bucks and I get to talk about the dinosaur brewery recording studio in the garage for 24 hours.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:14 PM on January 8, 2016 [9 favorites]


You've played 579,945 times and lost a total of $1,004,947. So why not throw some more money at that problem?

Think I'll just buy a 12-pack of Coors. At least I can recycle the cans.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:19 PM on January 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


what! that belongs in a museum!
posted by indubitable at 4:20 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Does all of that "expected return" have any *actual* meaning in this discussion? It's not like you can get partial awards of the big prize. Anything but the full win is a fixed value, so it's still "win nothing" most of the time, "win something" in a few cases, and "win a whole lot" as a tiny percentage.

It feels like one of those cases where people are playing with economics equations like they say something, but they really don't. The idea that it's only "worth" playing when the prize is big enough is, well, ridiculous. "I won't play because I'll 'only' win $75 million if I win"?
posted by evilangela at 4:23 PM on January 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'll tell you what, uncleozzy. If I can overcome my knowledge of probability enough to put on pants and go buy a lottery ticket and if I win, you can come out to one of my Dino Ranches and dig up your own skeleton. I'll even throw in one of those big. . .brewing. . .pot. . .thingies. Hoppers? Brewtubes? Fermentation traps? whatever you call em, I'll buy you one.

don't get your hopes up though, I really hate wearing pants
posted by barchan at 4:24 PM on January 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


I would hate to win this. For real. I would hate the fact that no one would ever treat me the same again. I have worked for wealthy people and I know just how often they get hit up for donations (hint: all the dang time)...not to mention relatives and friends-it would change the dynamic.

I know there are advantages to having money. But not worth changing being able to trust people like me for me, or to constantly be hit up for money, or be a target for thieves or worse.....there are worse things than working for a living.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:33 PM on January 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Some people on Facebook are posting their favorite "same odds" scenarios:

About the same as picking the exact number in roulette 5.4 times in a row.

Imagine a roulette wheel as wide as Texas, and each number takes up one inch. You have to pick the right inch (number) to win.

If you live in a state with randomly-assigned ABC-123 license plates, it's the about the same odds as you, sometime this year, getting in to a car accident with one of the two cars in the state with an adjacent plate number (ABC122 or ABC124).

Call three random telephone numbers. If every person who picks up has the same birthday *and* gender as you, you win!
posted by 0xFCAF at 4:35 PM on January 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


the dinosaur brewery recording studio in the garage

that belongs in a museum!

The uncleozzy Museum of Natural History and Acoustical Studies

Admission Free
posted by infinitewindow at 4:36 PM on January 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Honestly, if I won the whole damn thing, I would probably only keep a few million so I could live off the interest. The rest would go into a charitable trust.
posted by thecaddy at 4:37 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


mrsozzy is so practical. She's like, we can redo the bathroom and kitchen. And I'm like... lady. $250 million after taxes. We can get a dinosaur skeleton.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:43 PM on January 8 [3 favorites +] [!]


Holy Cow. Because of this comment, I finally know how to parse your username. You're uncle ozzy!

I always read it as the opposite of cleozzy.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:37 PM on January 8, 2016 [43 favorites]


To all those talking about the expected value of a lottery ticket, I've said it before: expected value is unimportant, a mere distraction.

For one thing, calculating the expected value assumes that each dollar is equally valuable, but that's not the case. Dollars have diminishing marginal utility -- the more you have, the less important each additional dollar becomes. I, for one, would rather have a 50% chance of receiving a million dollars than a 1% chance of receiving a billion, even though the expected value of the latter is higher.

For another thing, it's entirely possible for something to have a negative expected value and still be worthwhile. For example, the expected value of buying insurance is always negative. Insurance is still frequently worthwhile, because it eliminates the possibility of a loss you can't afford.
posted by baf at 4:39 PM on January 8, 2016 [25 favorites]


I would hate to win this.

Don't tell anyone. Accept the check in disguise and use a pseudonym or a middle name as your name when accepting.
posted by leotrotsky at 4:40 PM on January 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


yeah, bring some of those Groucho Marx glasses-and-moustache dealies
posted by indubitable at 4:42 PM on January 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


If you won, claim it through your attorney and/or a special purpose trust if at all possible. Wait at least 6 weeks before you claim it.

Then block off 6 months, and take an extended vacation to Belize or Vanuatu or Fiji. When you come back, then start doing whatever you were going to do with the money, after 99% of America forgot about you.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:50 PM on January 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


Through quick source code analysis and some
JavaScript automation I am able to get a consistent 8% return using a timing attack vs the random number generator.
posted by humanfont at 4:53 PM on January 8, 2016 [21 favorites]


Here’s $100. Can you win $800 million at Powerball?

Spoiler: No.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:55 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am going to bootstrap my way to a lottery win. All that's preventing me from winning is myself!
posted by maxwelton at 4:58 PM on January 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Poorly designed lotteries sometimes have positive payout. How MIT Students Won $8 Million in the Massachusetts Lottery (2012). Also the story from MIT itself. Good ol' Random Hall.
posted by Nelson at 4:59 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


One of the better illustrations of the odds that I heard somewhere was (paraphrasing), "Imagine an ordinary small ant has been painted yellow and placed somewhere on a (US) football field. For $2, you may proceed onto the field blindfolded and carrying a needle which you may place in the ground exactly once. If you pierce the ant, you win."
posted by indubitable at 5:00 PM on January 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


not to mention relatives and friends-it would change the dynamic

As part of the occasional lottery win fantasy, I plan on a burst of generosity to keep the dynamic going. Make my close friends and close family members into millionaires. Set up trusts for the nieces. Maybe that would work.

But the best part of winning is writing the will. Whoever wants the inheritance has to spend one night in my haunted mansion.
posted by honestcoyote at 5:08 PM on January 8, 2016 [15 favorites]



At what point is it stupid NOT to throw in a dollar?

When the whole office is going in on a pool and you can't stand the idea of being the one guy who still has to come in next week while all the people you hate seeing every day are laughing it up on the beach.


Yup. That's why I had to chip in a couple of bucks for the office pool today. No way I'm staying behind to answer the phones while all those jerks spend their new fortunes in really dumb ways that are inferior to the ways that I would spend my new fortune, yes indeedy.
posted by palomar at 5:24 PM on January 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


I wouldn't tell a soul. I've probably already won the lottery and you don't even know. I'm posting this comment from my pool full of money.
posted by sallybrown at 5:26 PM on January 8, 2016 [12 favorites]


There's one person in every office who buys the tickets only out of spite. They are the cooler and if you get them to not play your office will win. But they refuse to not play. Such is life.

--Albert Camus
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:30 PM on January 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


I win nearly every time I play, but I won't play unless the pay off is > 800 million, it's just not worth my time going down and standing in line for a shitty 100 mill.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:41 PM on January 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


You walk into a polling place at an American election. You look down at the ballot you are given, and every office has a candidate that is intelligent, caring and someone for whom you would enthusiastically vote, rather than someone you'd vote for mostly to keep the opponent out.

If this happens, too bad -- your one opportunity in life to beat 300-million-to-one odds like Powerball's just got used up.
posted by delfin at 5:46 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


I bought a tank of gas this morning. The damn gas pump was selling lottery plays. I inserted my card and the first question I was asked was "Lottery purchase?" Um, no, I want gas. So I enter my PIN and stuff and when the transaction was finally approved, there was the option to press one of two buttons: "Lottery and Fuel," or just "Fuel."

I had to opt out of buying lottery tickets (for a lotto drawing, presumably, not scratch-offs) TWICE before I was able to put gas in my car.

What fresh hell can this be??
posted by mudpuppie at 5:50 PM on January 8, 2016 [25 favorites]


Well, I can't buy every number, but I can give myself an 700 million dollar budget, see how well it does over the weekend, and still spend all the money before the thread closes.
posted by pwnguin at 6:01 PM on January 8, 2016


I can't play this. What if I win? Then I can't win the real thing. You ain't fooling me!

On the one hand I understand that this is not how statistics work; on the other hand this is still the reason that I didn't click on the link.

I would hate to win this. For real. I would hate the fact that no one would ever treat me the same again.

I wouldn't stay rich if I won. Mom and Dad would get a condo downtown and a new car and a retirement fund; I would get a Tesla and invest enough to stay comfortably upper middle class. The rest would go to deserving local charities.
posted by bracems at 6:04 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


If I win the jackpot I will use some of the winnings to do an international tour of Mefi IRL meetups. Anyone who favorites this post will get free drinks and appetizers.
posted by humanfont at 6:14 PM on January 8, 2016 [54 favorites]


At what point is it stupid NOT to throw in a dollar?

When the whole office is going in on a pool and you can't stand the idea of being the one guy who still has to come in next week while all the people you hate seeing every day are laughing it up on the beach.


If all the people in the office that insist on talking to me about the lottery were to never show up at work ever again, then I'll have won.

(Worked in a convenience store. Never want to hear about anyone's "system" ever again. Just give me the damn slip. Relatives birthdays, really?! How creative!)
posted by dances with hamsters at 6:16 PM on January 8, 2016 [7 favorites]


If the multiverse theory is correct, then in some alternate spacetime, everyone in this thread is a winner! But not here. Here you're all losers.
posted by dephlogisticated at 6:18 PM on January 8, 2016 [20 favorites]


3. Taxes will probably mean that it is never profitable or sensible to play the lottery. So if you do play, try to minimize them.

I think that is true if you take the money all at once. If you take the annuity you pay like 50% taxes the first year, but then rich people tax rules kick in, and you pay almost nothing.
posted by overhauser at 6:20 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Most of my lottery-winning dreams involve which worthy organizations to give all the money to after I've paid off my family's debts.

That's normal, right? Probably why I'm never winning.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 6:27 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Lotteries even market to syndicates these days.
posted by destro at 6:30 PM on January 8, 2016


Taxes will probably mean that it is never profitable or sensible to play the lottery.

Statistically, sure. But has anyone who won the lottery ever still been negative on the game? Sure, it has a negative EV in the long run. So does going to Vegas, playing sports, or just about any hobby you spend money on.
posted by ctmf at 6:30 PM on January 8, 2016


But has anyone who won the lottery ever still been negative on the game?

Yes? Most lottery winners only receive a few dollars.
posted by ryanrs at 6:42 PM on January 8, 2016


rich people tax rules kick in, and you pay almost nothing

I don't think a W2-G leaves that much wiggle room for accounting games.
posted by ryanrs at 6:48 PM on January 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Poorly designed lotteries sometimes have positive payout. How MIT Students Won $8 Million in the Massachusetts Lottery (2012). Also the story from MIT itself. Good ol' Random Hall.

MIT is the Hogwarts of Math
posted by clockzero at 6:52 PM on January 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Crone Island in Alaska is small enough that you could probably buy it.
posted by solarion at 6:53 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


By "won the lottery" I mean the big prize.
posted by ctmf at 6:54 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I won $50 on a scratcher once.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:06 PM on January 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


Am I misunderstanding in thinking that this model is wrong for this 800 million jackpot?

I interpret it as someone playing one number for every new lotto draw (which could have varying jackpots).

If I was I the business of being attracted by this specific 800 million jackpot as their headline suggests, shouldn't the model be "you spent $X dollars, here's x/2 unique numbers, here's the lotto number. Here's your net return."
posted by Karaage at 7:23 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you win the lottery, can you purchase a lottery license and then sell raffle tickets for your fortune? In perpetuity?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:49 PM on January 8, 2016


Did anyone else modify the JS so they win every time
posted by miyabo at 8:12 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


You suckers and your "statistics". I'm going to go a light day away from Earth, find out the numbers then come back at twice the speed of light. It's a sure thing!
posted by Talez at 8:20 PM on January 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


I put down a $100,000 "paycheck," beat the odds tremendously by hitting the one-in-900,000 $50,000 prize twice, and still never had positive earnings at any point during the simulation. Good lesson.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:32 PM on January 8, 2016


I'd be okay paying the taxes and winning only a couple of hundred million

Doesn't seem like a big deal, once you crack ten million or so
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:33 PM on January 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Or I might just take the hundred and get a bomb-ass lapdance
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 8:42 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Taxes will probably mean that it is never profitable or sensible to play the lottery.

This is idiotic. You don't play the lottery because you believe you can beat the EV of a ticket over the long haul, and no one buys $500mil of lottery tickets for the amazing investment returns.

People play the lottery because they hate their jobs, because the mortgage is underwater, because they have 300k in student debt at 7.3% and a job that pays 38k, or because their wife left and took the kids with her.

People play for the false hope of changing their lives, and most people know it'll never happen. You can argue it's bad public policy to use false hope as a means of funding schools or whatever as a backdoor regressive tax, and that might be true. But it's obtuse to poo-poo people who drop a couple bucks on a ticket because the tax math never makes sense.

It's not supposed to make sense, or the state would never raise any revenue.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:13 PM on January 8, 2016 [17 favorites]


I'd pay $2 to do the ant thing. Try to stab an ant. I'm in.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:19 PM on January 8, 2016 [22 favorites]


$2 for an infinitesimal chance to win a share of $900 million is healthier for most people than $2 for a bottle of Coke.
posted by infinitewindow at 9:23 PM on January 8, 2016 [19 favorites]


I kinda roll my eyes behind the backs of the lottery crew in my office. I heard one non-lottery person say today, "I both root for you to win and I hope you don't win at the same time." I used to think the idea of the lottery was exciting--mostly because I love scratching my mom's scratchers--but ever since I became legal, I've never bought. I don't remotely think I'm going to win and I'd rather waste the money on some object I get, like a gumball. And I hate gum. I kinda envy how they can somehow manage to delude themselves into thinking they might win because they seem to have fun with that idea, but I am way too practical for that.

However, a lottery-obsessed friend of mine ("when I win the lottery" comes up a lot in conversation) demonstrated to me how frequently she can win the lottery last time I saw her. Apparently if you buy the $30 lottery tickets all in one go, every third time you buy them or so, you win something. So she spent about $90 to win $55. She's been unemployed for a year. I.... dunno about this logic. On the one hand, that's literally the winningest person I've ever SEEN at the lottery. On the other hand, I dunno if it's worth losing that much money to win some of it back.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:27 PM on January 8, 2016


Let me be clear, I'm referring to the power-mega life changing jackpots. Buying $10 scratchers every day for a week to win $2 is a whole other thing, which is disproportionately targeted at people who probably can't afford to throw away a single dollar.

The main topic here was the record Powerball jackpot, which I find much more defensible than scratcher games.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:33 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Eh, to me lottery is lottery is "still probably not gonna win enough to be worth playing, same diff regardless of how you're playing." But whatever!
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:41 PM on January 8, 2016


So, the annuity option is a graduated annuity increasing 5% per year. How would you calculate what the first payment is without trial-and-error iterations? It seems like they've made it as complicated as possible to do by hand.

For one thing, the jackpot amount isn't how much money is in the jackpot, it's the future value of that money invested at an assumed rate of return for 29 years. Then you have to calculate the annuity payment which seems hard enough with a graduated annuity but with the added twist that there's an extra payment (either the first or last) that doesn't get interest. I've been playing with excel trying to do it just for fun and so far haven't figured out how to do it.
posted by ctmf at 10:00 PM on January 8, 2016


I lost my $100 in less than 30 seconds; now it wants me to bet my paycheck. No one's paid me for weeks, though, so now what do I do?
posted by LeLiLo at 10:02 PM on January 8, 2016


Every time lottery fever hits where I work, I point out that I have about the same odds of finding the winning lottery ticket blowing around in the wind as they do of buying it.
posted by Meeks Ormand at 10:12 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


I’m starting to think the odds of winning the lottery aren’t really that good.
posted by bongo_x at 10:15 PM on January 8, 2016 [6 favorites]


I’m starting to think the odds of winning the lottery aren’t really that good.

You can always bet the hard ways in craps. Those are still terrible but will give you positive reinforcement and false hope more frequently.
posted by Talez at 10:35 PM on January 8, 2016


People play the lottery because ... they have 300k in student debt at 7.3% and a job that pays 38k

What are the odds of my paying those loans off any other way?
posted by asperity at 10:38 PM on January 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


Hah! I won! I only had to spend $2.7 million dollars on 1.35 million plays (roughly). And I won. But then, I've always been lucky.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 10:49 PM on January 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


If I win the jackpot I will use some of the winnings to do an international tour of Mefi IRL meetups. Anyone who favorites this post will get free drinks and appetizers.

...at Flavortown.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:05 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


What are the odds of my paying those loans off any other way?

For some people, it's about equal.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:45 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


chavenet: "hwyengr: "Shirley Jackson taught me all I need to know about lotteries.

I've learned, however, that book contains no hints on how to win the lottery.
"

Oh yes it does. The only way to win is not to play. (cf. "War Games")
"

Shut up, WOPR! How do you keep talking when there is no speaker plugged?
posted by Samizdata at 11:50 PM on January 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


diode: "You mean the odds are greater than zero that I would win a gazillion dollars? Where do I flush $10 away for the momentary fantasy of untold wealth and freedom..."

Not untold. They list the prizes right at the kiosk... Sheesh.
posted by Samizdata at 11:50 PM on January 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


infinitewindow: "the dinosaur brewery recording studio in the garage

that belongs in a museum!

The uncleozzy Museum of Natural History and Acoustical Studies and Craft Brewery

Admission Free (Beer is too, if I think you are cool.)
"

FTFY.
posted by Samizdata at 11:58 PM on January 8, 2016


humanfont: "If I win the jackpot I will use some of the winnings to do an international tour of Mefi IRL meetups. Anyone who favorites this post will get free drinks and appetizers."

I'm a whore. Favorited.

What's in it if I say nice things about you online where Google can see it?
posted by Samizdata at 12:05 AM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I’m starting to think the odds of winning the lottery aren’t really that good.

Hey, I'd be up for a tontine, except I'm not using an anonymized sock puppet account so it'd be far to easy for one of you to nail me while I'm circling around trying to pick you off one by one.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:09 AM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


One of the better illustrations of the odds that I heard somewhere was (paraphrasing), "Imagine an ordinary small ant has been painted yellow and placed somewhere on a (US) football field. For $2, you may proceed onto the field blindfolded and carrying a needle which you may place in the ground exactly once. If you pierce the ant, you win."

Wait. Why is the ant painted yellow?
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 12:57 AM on January 9, 2016 [18 favorites]



Am I misunderstanding in thinking that this model is wrong for this 800 million jackpot?

I interpret it as someone playing one number for every new lotto draw (which could have varying jackpots).

If I was I the business of being attracted by this specific 800 million jackpot as their headline suggests, shouldn't the model be "you spent $X dollars, here's x/2 unique numbers, here's the lotto number. Here's your net return."


Your interpretation is valid, but a equally valid interpretation is that you are assigning the winning numbers (or using quick pick to do so) and then simulating going through every single one of your randomly selected tickets while keeping a tally of your winnings/losses. The numbers are the same whichever framing you choose.
posted by howfar at 1:05 AM on January 9, 2016


Actually, not quite the same, thinking about it. Because you wouldn't buy your tickets randomly if you were trying to beat the system, and would avoid duplication, which this system can't. For the reality of someone "investing" a few thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, the difference is entirely marginal of course, but you're right that the model is different. I apologise.
posted by howfar at 1:09 AM on January 9, 2016


My one complaint is that it doesn't appear to buy n dollars worth of tickets all with different quick picks, which would be slightly more realistic. In any event, it took more than four lifetimes of playing $100 a month for 50 years to beat the $70,977.81 you'd have if you put $100 a month into a crappy 0.65% interest checking account every month for 50 years. I ran $600,000, ten lifetimes worth, through it and never won the jackpot.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:28 AM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wait. Why is the ant painted yellow?

To distinguish it from other ants that may have gotten onto the field.
posted by solarion at 3:05 AM on January 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


Admission Free (Beer is too, if I think you are cool.)"

Actually I have a great plan for making a profit with my terrible dinosaur brewery: tell the beer nerds that we will only be open for 3 years and price all bombers at $30. They'll lap it up and thank me for the opportunity.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:28 AM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wait. Why is the ant painted yellow?
posted by paleyellowwithorange


you don't like it??
posted by indubitable at 5:07 AM on January 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


I just read the law link for my state (WA) and am kind of pissed off.

"State lottery fund used for: payment of prizes and lottery administration; deposits to education construction and student achievement fund; distribution to county for payment of baseball stadium bonds (for no more than 20 years)"
posted by Joe Chip at 7:18 AM on January 9, 2016


Metafilter: A psychotic crapton of money.
posted by symbioid at 7:51 AM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]




I spent $6 on this because I happened to be walking past the gas station this morning (on my way to get a $6 latte, oddly enough). Of course I won't win*, but I could, and daydreaming and a brief jolt of optimism is worth the rare $6. Not much different than renting a movie.

*but if I do I am totally buying this island
posted by desjardins at 11:26 AM on January 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wow it would suck to blow your one-in-a- zillion chance by winning the fake Powerball.

Heh. My very Catholic great-grandfather used to "play" the lottery - by writing his numbers on a piece of paper instead of buying a ticket, as buying a ticket would be gambling and therefore a sin. Used to imagine him "winning" one day and kicking in his TV. Mercifully, he was spared this tragedy.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 11:53 AM on January 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


And as far as scratch-offs go: when I was in high school it was popular to go to Ocean City, MD for summer vacation. One summer, two of our classmates bought $400 worth of dollar scratch-offs and made $600. Every summer after that, buying shit-tons of scratch-offs was the thing you did when you went to OC. No one ever hit it as big as those two, and soon it was back to spending your hard-earned part time job earnings on a week's worth of beer and weed.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 12:12 PM on January 9, 2016


That's an awesome website, desjardins. Maybe I don't need a Dino Ranch after all.

or a retirement account
posted by barchan at 12:20 PM on January 9, 2016


Pfft. call me when there's a real jackpot.
posted by mazola at 12:28 PM on January 9, 2016


A jackpot-rigging scandal is forgotten as Powerball fever sweeps the United States

Powerball sales are soaring despite a scandal that rocked the organization that runs the game — a five-year-old investigation into jackpot fixing in one state that grew to include at least four others.

In the end, a Multi-State Lottery Association security expert was convicted of fraud and sentenced to a decade in prison, and the man who had run Powerball since it began was quietly put on leave.

posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:42 PM on January 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


I just realized if nobody wins tonight it will go over into a billion and break all the signs.

oh my goodness I really hope no one wins
posted by barchan at 12:47 PM on January 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


Hell it might break a billion tonight.

A national lottery where the winner is given a billion dollars seems appropriately dystopian for the new economy tbh.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 12:54 PM on January 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


It does, doesn't? Personally I find that amount of money absolutely terrifying.

I just looked on the PB FAQ to see if the sign thing is addressed and oh wow that is an amazing display of public snark. Someone there hates their job and doesn't take any pains to hide it: "We can't check numbers for a million folks a week. You can check your numbers on the web site. Teach a man to fish."
posted by barchan at 1:06 PM on January 9, 2016 [4 favorites]




Wait. Why is the ant painted yellow?

And wouldn't a green ant be higher valued?
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:44 PM on January 9, 2016


The PB FAQ is amazing:

"DO POWERBALL TICKETS EXPIRE?
Yes. The Universe is decaying and nothing lasts forever."
posted by blnkfrnk at 5:34 PM on January 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Everyone knows it's the purple ants ...
posted by one4themoment at 5:38 PM on January 9, 2016


My advice on maximizing your return on Powerball:

Buy your ticket on Saturday PM AFTER the drawing.

You're not going to win. You are however, renting hope. If you but buy your ticket on Sat PM AFTER the drawing, you get four days of hope for your $2. If you buy buy your ticket on a Wed or Sat, your $2 only gets you a few hours of hope--not quite the bargain for your money.

BUT-----I have figured out how to beat the system. Immediately after every drawing on Wed or Sat, make the decision to buy a ticket before the next drawing. You can even put it on your calendar. You can now spend the next couple of days fantasizing what you will do with the winnings from the ticket you plan on buying. But here's the trick: On the day of the drawing, "forget" to buy your ticket. Now you have just enjoyed all the hope and fantasy, but didn't have to give he government a cent.
posted by sourwookie at 6:28 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I played 1000 years of powerball on the 2.0 simulator.

$0.08 ROI
Never won more than $100 at a time. Only won $100 nineteen times.

Altogether:
Won $17,146
Spent $207,994

Better luck next millennium, I guess!
posted by carsonb at 7:21 PM on January 9, 2016


desjardins: "I spent $6 on this because I happened to be walking past the gas station this morning (on my way to get a $6 latte, oddly enough). Of course I won't win*, but I could, and daydreaming and a brief jolt of optimism is worth the rare $6. Not much different than renting a movie.

*but if I do I am totally buying this island
"

I want an island. I want to found my own country, so I can be all "Hey, you're a dick. You're deported. (grabs a B-B gun) Don't make me call out the military on you!" and have the swankiest MeFi meetups ever, so all the attendees can tell their friends about partying outside the U.S. with royalty...
posted by Samizdata at 7:38 PM on January 9, 2016


I just looked on the PB FAQ to see if the sign thing is addressed and oh wow that is an amazing display of public snark.

The Real Letters page is even better than the FAQ.
posted by desjardins at 7:53 PM on January 9, 2016


Maybe the odds of winning are better if you don't play?
posted by ennui.bz at 8:08 PM on January 9, 2016


I didn't match one single number on three tickets! My dreams are dashed.
posted by desjardins at 8:10 PM on January 9, 2016


I can't get through to the website to get the numbers, so I get to enjoy my fantasies for another few hours, until I wake up tomorrow and hear about some winner on the other side of the country. So I can milk this thing for all it's worth!
posted by TedW at 8:16 PM on January 9, 2016


From lotterypost.com:
Final jackpot for Saturday, January 9, 2016
$949.8 Million
(Cash Value: $588.9 Million)

Winning numbers for Saturday, January 9, 2016
16-19-32-34-57

Powerball: 13

Power Play: x3
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:49 PM on January 9, 2016


No winners, so it goes up to an estimated $1.3 billion on Wednesday. Insane. You could buy an election.
posted by desjardins at 9:17 PM on January 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Wallflower sounds like what it must have been like to live one room over from me my freshman year in college when I couldn't stop playing Moby's Play really loud all day and night. I like it a lot!
posted by carsonb at 11:26 PM on January 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow, this is the wrong thread.
posted by carsonb at 11:26 PM on January 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


*waves* Good luck, suckers!
posted by carsonb at 11:27 PM on January 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Some people on Facebook are posting their favorite "same odds" scenarios:

My favorite is picking the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 as the Powerball. Same odds, but I can wrap my head around the unlikely-ness.

(But for 1.3B I may have to dream the dream!)
posted by LEGO Damashii at 12:10 AM on January 10, 2016


Wait. Why is the ant painted yellow?

Tradition.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:18 AM on January 10, 2016 [9 favorites]


It's like they say, if you don't play, you won't know how it feels to stab a yellow ant now come on who's with me
posted by krinklyfig at 12:28 AM on January 10, 2016 [6 favorites]


OK, question: at least in Australia, lottery money is very commonly used as grant money for non-profits and various other organizations. I've volunteered for places where they treat lottery grants as a reliable source of income to fund stuff that they need.

Would it make sense to buy lottery tickets this way if you think of it as you giving a donation to those organizations? Or are you better off just donating to the organization straight up? I'd imagine that if you already have orgs in mind, you might as well give them the money, but if you're not fussy about who specifically gets the money then buying a ticket might be a good idea - you do good, and maaaaaaybe strike it rich? Or are the lottery grant payouts such a minuscule percentage of ticket sales?
posted by divabat at 2:01 AM on January 10, 2016


According to this article, 34% of CA Lottery money goes to public schools (K through university), 50% to prizes, the rest to administration, marketing, and retailer bonuses. The Lottery's website has a breakdown of how much each school district receives. The K-12 school district in my city of 400,000, for example, receives about $1.5 million per quarter from the Lottery. (My phone isn't playing very nice with the site so I couldn't find the payouts to the UC and CSU systems.)

The Powerball is multi-state, however, so each $2 Powerball ticket might not be sending 64 cents to California schools.
posted by clorox at 3:37 AM on January 10, 2016


Divabat, here in GA the lottery is also used to fund education; one of the most successful programs here has been the HOPE scholarship. I definitely use the rationalization that I am contributing to a good cause on the rare occasion that I play the lottery. Of course, there are problems with this system, including the fact that the lottery is effectively a tax on poor people and that lottery revenue went down significantly after neighboring states started their own lotteries. I wish they would just tax everyone enough to fund schools appropriately instead, but that's not happening anytime soon here.

The fact there apparently wasn't a winner despite the enormous number of tickets sold should give people an idea of the odds involved. At this point the payoff is so much greater than the odds of winning that I assume there are people scheming to buy every possible number combination as has been tried before. I think that there are rules in place to prevent this (or at least make it even harder) but a 1.3 billion (in US billions) payout is worth putting some effort into. I imagine the actual payout will be even higher as sales get totally out of hand. I find it noteworthy that the first year of the GA lottery brought in sales of $1.13 billion according to my first link. At the time that as a record number, but still smaller than the jackpot we are looking at now. I realize the comparison is pretty meaningless for a number of reasons, but I find it interesting nonetheless.

One of the best illustrations of the odds involved was given by a mathematician some years ago. I forget where; perhaps NPR. He said that if someone put a paper cup on the ground at the base of the Empire State Building, and someone else randomly tossed a penny off the top, the chance of that penny landing in the cup were roughly the same as winning the lottery. Plus you would kill whoever you hit with the penny (Don't worry, I know that part is just an urban legend). I found that mentioned a few other places while looking for a cite, but no original source. I also found the statement that you are more likely to be killed in a car accident on the way to get your tickets than to buy a winning ticket. (Which rings true, I use a similar analogy to quantify the risks of anesthesia to parents when I care for their kids). So let's be safe out there! No special trips to the store for lottery tickets; only buy them if you were going for something else anyway!
posted by TedW at 4:23 AM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Datapoint: as an adult who never buys lottery tickets, for a $1,000,000,000 win I am going to buy lottery tickets. I am going to spend a few hours fantasizing about how I will spend that money but rest assured that I will make Crone Island a real place.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:26 AM on January 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


Last night I went to the grocery store at 8:00. They sell the lottery tickets from one vending machine. There were ten people lined up at the thing to buy tickets. I have never seen anybody lined up to use that machine in five years of shopping at that store.

Then on the radio at midnight the top news story was the six lottery numbers. I have never observed that before either. If I was the news manager I would definitely have led with how the Seahawks are going to be freezing their nads off today.
posted by bukvich at 5:53 AM on January 10, 2016


I successfully avoided selecting any of the lottery numbers. So that means I won, right?

I did win the daily pick 4 in Massachusetts the one and only time I played it. I think it was worth about $100.
posted by COD at 6:11 AM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


The idea that the lottery is virtuous because it funds education is nonsense. It's not like California schools are magically $1B / year better because it gets extra income from the lottery. The lottery income just lets the state adjust its budget so relatively less of the primary tax base goes to education and more goes to paying off pension obligations or maintaining roads or whatever.

Imagine if we just directly funded schools as a high priority for taxes rather than a deceptively marketed gambling scheme that preys particularly on those who can least afford it.
posted by Nelson at 6:49 AM on January 10, 2016 [8 favorites]


The lottery is a preferable scheme to government funding than the alternative which seems to involve agressive policing of minor offenses to impose harsh fines of poor people.
posted by humanfont at 8:44 AM on January 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


Know what? That lottery ticket that guy sold me last week is WORTHLESS!!!
posted by Floydd at 8:55 AM on January 10, 2016


It was not worth putting on my pants to go buy a lottery ticket but it's totally worth it to put on my pants to satisfy my curiosity about how the whole sign thing is going (prediction: disappointingly).

the next time I get asked to sum up my life/personality/whatever in a nutshell this is it
posted by barchan at 9:38 AM on January 10, 2016


So how many tickets would every active mefite have to buy for one of us to win the jackpot?
posted by Night_owl at 10:24 AM on January 10, 2016


The stock market is down like 10%. Trillions of dollars disappeared. And the news is covering the Powerball.
posted by miyabo at 10:31 AM on January 10, 2016 [4 favorites]


The stock market is down like 10%.

[Citation needed]
posted by pwnguin at 10:08 AM on January 11, 2016


6.5 percent since New Year's Eve, but that's still not good.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:36 AM on January 11, 2016




Why We Keep Playing the Lottery - '“People just aren’t able to grasp 1 in 175 million,” Williams says. “It’s just beyond our experience—we have nothing in our evolutionary history that prepares us or primes us, no intellectual architecture, to try and grasp the remoteness of those odds.” And so we continue to play.'
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:17 PM on January 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


So you’re saying I need to buy a couple more tickets to improve my odds? Done, just got back from the store.
posted by bongo_x at 4:42 PM on January 11, 2016


Haha, the Fox link. Well, they're not wrong, technically. Was the next slide 'tips to increase your jackpot': play the same numbers on every ticket so you get more shares of the prize?
posted by ctmf at 5:29 PM on January 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


How the Powerball rules were tweaked to make the game an even bigger ripoff. "The effect was to decrease the chance of winning the jackpot from 1 in 175.2 million to 1 in 292.2 million. The chance of winning that $4 in chump change was increased to 1 in 92 from 1 in 111."

Also provides data on how people least able to afford it tend to buy the most tickets, and how the education earmark of California lottery winnings is "little more than window-dressing"
posted by Nelson at 1:55 PM on January 12, 2016


“Powerball Jackpot Reaches an Astounding $1.5 Billion”—ABC World News Tonight, 12 January 2016

N.B. Includes a report from a convenience store in Beverly Hills.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:22 PM on January 12, 2016


Walt Hickey at FiveThirtyEight: Everyone Is Freaking Out About The $1.5 Billion Powerball, And The Stats Agree :
Here’s where we stand: based on the old forecast — the one we used for Friday’s estimate — we’d estimate about 1.008 billion tickets will be sold for Wednesday’s jackpot. Based on that number — which is totally unprecedented and based on far too much extrapolation, keep in mind — we’d estimate a 97 percent chance of at least one winner on Wednesday’s drawing.

The new models say we’d estimate 1.2 billion tickets sold if the growth accelerates, and 554 million tickets if it is slower. If we were flying blind for Saturday’s record drawing, this is a whole other level entirely. That’s a very, very wide range, one that really hammers home how completely in the dark we are with turnout. Still, there’s anywhere from an 85 percent chance of at least one winner to a 98 percent chance.

According to Sean Davis at The Federalist, at a $1.4 billion jackpot, after factoring in the likelihoods of multiple winners and split jackpots, as well as the certainty of federal taxation, the expected value of a Powerball ticket for which you paid $2 is only $1.32.
If a winning ticket were guaranteed to get the entire lump sum, then the expected return would be close to even after taxes. But at this point it’s highly likely the jackpot will be split between two or more winning tickets.

Lastly, this chain of Reddit comments (via papayaninja’s Ask MetaFilter answer) details the grisly fate that awaits the jackpot winners, and how they might avoid it.
posted by mbrubeck at 8:45 AM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]




You'd be entirely fucked if someone else won the prize along with you.
posted by Talez at 11:20 AM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


At least one jackpot winner, sold in Chino Hills, California.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:22 PM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


Have you seen the houses there? I'm going to be mad if the person is already a billionaire. I hope it's one of the cleaning ladies.
posted by desjardins at 8:51 PM on January 13, 2016


May God have mercy on their soul(s).
posted by Small Dollar at 9:50 PM on January 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


According to that report from Tuesday I linked, the housekeepers were being sent "by the bosses" to buy hundreds of tickets at a time. If the winner was already rich, I wonder if that will put a damper on lottery fever the next time?
posted by ob1quixote at 10:03 PM on January 13, 2016


It's literally Charlie and the Chocolate Factory out there :(
posted by Small Dollar at 10:05 PM on January 13, 2016


Accidentally bought the same numbers twice, doubled my chances, whoo-hoo!
posted by bongo_x at 10:24 PM on January 13, 2016


If the winner was already rich, I wonder if that will put a damper on lottery fever the next time?

And heeeeere come the pretzels!
posted by FJT at 10:47 PM on January 13, 2016 [1 favorite]


I won $4! Can't wait for my tiny novelty check!
posted by moonmilk at 5:33 AM on January 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


When the whole office is going in on a pool and you can't stand the idea of being the one guy who still has to come in next week while all the people you hate seeing every day are laughing it up on the beach.

You'd be entirely fucked if someone else won the prize along with you.

I heard a thing on NPR that combines these two ideas into some sort of evil megagenius plot to dissuade office pools: buy the same numbers the pool does for yourself, so the lottery is split two ways: one share for you, and one share for everyone else in the office.
posted by pwnguin at 9:16 AM on January 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


The celebration that erupted around the Chino Hill 7-11 last night reminded me of a celebration for a newly crowned king.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:11 AM on January 14, 2016


While many more people, in these savvy Internet times of ours, are cottoning on to the fact that you can save yourself from a lot of trouble (and possibly death!) by collecting your lottery mega-wins anonymously, the Munford, Tennessee couple that won the Powerball jackpot went in the totally opposite direction by flying to New York -- golden ticket in coat pocket -- to blab about winning on national TV before they even cashed in. The worst part is, it was their shyster attorney's idea to do this!

They should use their winnings to have this guy horsewhipped.
posted by dgaicun at 12:33 PM on January 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


« Older Cologne Police Chief Forced to Resign   |   Palaeontologist! Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments