I guess we have to talk about this Mega Millions thing, huh? Update: At least three winners

posted at 10:00 pm on March 30, 2012 by Allahpundit

This is, in fact, officially “news” now that WaPo’s started blast-emailing fluff like this. The drawing’s at 11 p.m. ET in Atlanta. The jackpot? The biggest in the history of the world. Public excitement? Approaching the theoretical levels of a hundred Super Bowls squared.

Be honest. How many of you paid the idiot tax today?

If a single ticket matches all six winning numbers, the player would receive either a one-time payment of $462 million or the full [$640 million] jackpot in 26 annual installment payments…

The previous largest Mega Millions jackpot was $390 million in 2007, which was split between two ticket holders in Georgia and New Jersey…

If no one wins on Friday night, the jackpot will grow to $975 million. Lottery officials are considering moving the next drawing after Friday to Times Square in New York City as the anticipation and jackpot build, DeFrancisco said.

I didn’t buy a ticket, but in the spirit of the occasion and in the interest of solidarity with hopefuls everywhere, I did pull out a $10 bill and light it on fire. Say, wait — once the jackpot gets this big, aren’t the odds kinda sorta in your favor? Yes and no.

In theory, since a ticket costs only $1 and your odds of picking the winning numbers are 1 in 176 million, the lottery should be a reasonable bet when the jackpot climbs past $176 million. But Ben Casselman points to an analysis by computer scientist Jeremy Elson that lays out some complicating factors. You have to factor in taxes, plus the fact that you get a smaller amount if you ask for an upfront lump sum, plus the risk that you may have to split the winnings with someone else. When the jackpot gets this obscenely large, everyone and their aunt wants to play…

Of course, another strategy would simply be to buy up every single ticket combination. That would cost $176 million. But you’d be guaranteed to win about $293 million after taxes. Good deal, right? But there’s one big hitch: “First, if it takes five seconds to fill out each card, you’d need almost 28 years just to mark the bubbles on the game tickets. You’d also use up the national supply of special lottery paper and lottery-machine printing ink well before all your tickets could be printed out.” (Also, if just one other person picked the winning number, you’d end up losing $30 million all told.)

To celebrate the moment, via BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, enjoy this video from 2000 of a young state senator, who would never use games of chance to fund his own campaign, furrowing his brow over the way the lottery acts as a regressive tax on the working class. Second look at saving suckers from themselves?

Update: Alas, there’ll be no billion-dollar jackpot drawing in Times Square after all. There are winners in Maryland, Illinois, and Kansas, and maybe more still to be revealed.

Breaking on Hot Air

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I have got one dollar in, its all me baby!

rob verdi on March 30, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Me first.

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:02 PM

DArn.

I will split thought.

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:02 PM

I’ve decided to use my winnings and start a bank, seems like it could keep me busy. The plan is to cater to veterans and teachers only, two things Long Island has plenty of.

rob verdi on March 30, 2012 at 10:03 PM

I’ve decided to use my winnings and start a bank, seems like it could keep me busy. The plan is to cater to veterans and teachers only, two things Long Island has plenty of.

rob verdi on March 30, 2012 at 10:03 PM

I was kinda thinking in investing my winnings into Green Energy…
.
.
.
/

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:04 PM

I’m going to lose.

12 17 54 44 50
Mega 4

Apologetic California on March 30, 2012 at 10:04 PM

From a friend of mine:

So, picture a roulette wheel with numbers placed an inch apart, but there are 176,000,000 numbers. This roulette wheel is slightly larger than the distance around the football field track. In fact, it would extend from Chicago to New Orleans. The wheel would completely cover Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Arkansas. It would cover most of Illinois, Missouri, and Indiana and half of Georgia. It would cover small chunks of Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, and Texas.

This, my friends, is a game with the same odds of when you buy a lottery ticket for the nation’s most lucrative lottery, the Mega Millions Jackpot. It’s a stupid game, but go ahead, buy a ticket for an inch-long number on the wheel . . . hmmm . . . Why not pick an inch one hundred and thirteen inches southeast of the 64th fence post north of Hank Partridge’s barn on Highway 31 north of Lapaz, Indiana. Now walk for about thirty days and buy a second inch-long number in the corner of the Dairy Queen parking lot in Woodville, South Carolina. They only cost a dollar each. Buy ten numbers . . . maybe a hundred. Walk over to Tatum, Texas and buy a few inches worth. Cough up a thousand dollars, and buy about thirty yards of numbers scattered amongst the sixteen states and several hundred miles of the Gulf of Mexico along the roulette wheel’s edge. Now step back for a minute and let the wheel spin for a few revolutions. Yeeehaaaa! After spinning at a fairly alarming circumferential velocity it slows and stops at . . an inch of ground in Mel Gromner’s three-hundred acre corn field about 120 miles south of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Dang! You should have guessed that spot. Too bad. You can always spend a thousand dollars again tomorrow. Be patient. You missed the big prize, but happily the giant roulette wheel will occasionally toss you a few bucks to tease you, like the periodic clink-clink from the slot machine. Small prizes are built into the lottery system to add a little fun. You might luck out and snag a few hundred dollars. You may know someone who won several thousand. That’s nice. But what are the odds you’ll win the big one, a hundred million dollars or more, the only real reason you’re playing? Is it sinking in? The odds are really good that a few of the thousand dollars you spend will help fund our children’s education. Maybe they’ll learn statistics, but what are the odds of that happening when we fund education by promoting stupidity.

http://superbee70.blogspot.com/2006/01/lets-get-rich.html

Prufrock on March 30, 2012 at 10:05 PM

$5 in an office pool; I’d rather pay the “idiot tax” than be that guy when we win.

Jeddite on March 30, 2012 at 10:05 PM

I bought a hundred tickets. Someone do the math for me. Whats my chances?

hawkdriver on March 30, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Idiot tax! I heard your odds get minutely better when you get 100$ worth so I dropped a bill. Next stop, buying HotAir! ;)

zerotonin on March 30, 2012 at 10:07 PM

I have 20 tickets. If I win i’ll keep posting to hot air. If i lose i’ll keep posting to hot air.

that will make you winners either way.

lol

gerrym51 on March 30, 2012 at 10:07 PM

I mortgaged my house and sold my car. Imma gonna be rich, rich I tell you! Well, actually I am just refinancing without taking any money out. As for the car, it was all a lie, I love my car, no way I am selling it!

astonerii on March 30, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Be honest. How many of you paid the idiot tax today?

Honestly Allah, even at my peak I would never spend more than $20 for large jackpot.

But really, an idiot tax? For $1, you’re competing to win from a tier of at least 5 cash prizes.

At the very least, you have to admit, what else *can* you get for $1 anymore?

BlaxPac on March 30, 2012 at 10:07 PM

I didn’t smoke an extra cigarette just to buy a $1 ticket as that is all it takes to win.
IF I do, see a huge donation to Hillsdale College and whoever is the Republican nominee.

usedtobeinmich on March 30, 2012 at 10:08 PM

and your odds of picking the winning numbers are 1 in 176 million, the lottery should be a reasonable bet when the jackpot climbs past $176 million

Does this make since anyone?

I have never played the lottery but can two or more people pick the same numbers?

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:08 PM

I spent $10 today, but I should have burned it. Somehow burning it would’ve been more fun.

Slainte on March 30, 2012 at 10:08 PM

I was at the ticket counter after being bombarded all day at work with everyone’s dream of sudden riches. There were only 2 people ahead of me, so there was minimal wait while I was looking at past winning numbers.

Realistically, I know the chance of winning is vanishingly small, and if I jump in, I would only buy one ticket. But that was not made me walk away without buying the ticket. My life will not be so different or better even if I had won all that money (a single winner will be richer than Romney). I am comfortable as it is. I would not do anything more had I won, or anything less if I had not. So I walked away not spending that $2 and went to get some ice cream instead.

A news article noted that Americans spent 1.5 billion dollars altogether to try to win tonight’s pot.

If you bought tickets. Good luck.

galtani on March 30, 2012 at 10:08 PM

The winner could bail out Solyndra!

SlaveDog on March 30, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Of course I got a ticket :)

Ukiah on March 30, 2012 at 10:09 PM

I was kinda thinking in investing my winnings into Green Energy… . . . /

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:04 PM

First, you’re going to need to make a campaign contribution…

M240H on March 30, 2012 at 10:09 PM

I prefer to think of it as a donation. They were going to get it one way or the other. :-P

ThePrez on March 30, 2012 at 10:09 PM

First thing I would do is immediately officially register an alias (fictitious name) and claim the prize under that name.

crosspatch on March 30, 2012 at 10:09 PM

I bought a hundred tickets. Someone do the math for me. Whats my chances?

hawkdriver on March 30, 2012 at 10:06 PM

one in 1,760,000?

How does that work? If you buy half the ticket number set, do you have a 50% chance to win?

I bought 15 on Tuesday at 5PM my time, for some reason they are dated for today. I went back and bought 15 more today. Then they told me that the three sheets I handed him were for tonight, not last Tuesday. Sure glad i did not have the winning numbers Tuesday!

astonerii on March 30, 2012 at 10:10 PM

I bought a hundred tickets. Someone do the math for me. Whats my chances?

hawkdriver on March 30, 2012 at 10:06 PM

You probably have better chance of visiting Afghanistan then winning the lottery.
/

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Never done lottery before. Is the annual payment typically larger than the lump sum or are these special circumstances?

Client Number Nine on March 30, 2012 at 10:11 PM

I have never played the lottery but can two or more people pick the same numbers?

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Nevermind…
I figured it out myself…many have split before..

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:11 PM

Well, my odds might be bad at 1:175mil, but they’re better than those who don’t buy a ticket: 0

IrishEi on March 30, 2012 at 10:12 PM

I’m in…!

… Who’s dealing?

/

Seven Percent Solution on March 30, 2012 at 10:12 PM

I didn’t buy one. And yet, I feel like a winner. Why is that?

predator on March 30, 2012 at 10:12 PM

I didn’t buy a ticket…I’ve only bought a lottery ticket once in my life, and I was with my mother and she showed me how to do it…yes, I’m that dumb and didn’t know what to do!

ellifint on March 30, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Winning,and paying half to the IRS should be a criminal offence!
(sarc)

canopfor on March 30, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Well, my odds might be bad at 1:175mil, but they’re better than those who don’t buy a ticket: 0

IrishEi on March 30, 2012 at 10:12 PM

“I didn’t buy a ticket because I will get all the Government free-bees that come from the taxes that will be paid..” –OWS, Fluck, and typical Liberals

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Well, I would say the odds are that SOMEONE is probably going to win tonight and I would go so far as to say that odds are that the winner will probably be someone who bought a ticket.

crosspatch on March 30, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Btw, isn’t it funny that everyone takes the big payout…almost as if no one trusts that the government will be good for the payments years down the road!

ellifint on March 30, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Didn’t buy one. I only do scratch tickets..for the fun of them.

annoyinglittletwerp on March 30, 2012 at 10:15 PM

I didn’t buy one. And yet, I feel like a winner. Why is that?

predator on March 30, 2012 at 10:12 PM

predator:Positive Reinforcement type thinking?!:)

canopfor on March 30, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Winning,and paying half to the IRS should be a criminal offence!
(sarc)

canopfor on March 30, 2012 at 10:14 PM

35% times (1-state taxes) ot IRS is the maximum you can be forced to pay the IRS. Of course they accept free gift payments.

astonerii on March 30, 2012 at 10:15 PM

I didn’t buy one. And yet, I feel like a winner. Why is that?

predator on March 30, 2012 at 10:12 PM

Because you have some jingle in you pocket…
While others have not?

I didn’t buy either…
Feel pretty good though.

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Btw, isn’t it funny that everyone takes the big payout…almost as if no one trusts that the government will be good for the payments years down the road!

ellifint on March 30, 2012 at 10:15 PM

They think they can get better returns than the government does…

astonerii on March 30, 2012 at 10:16 PM

I bought a hundred tickets. Someone do the math for me. Whats my chances?

hawkdriver on March 30, 2012 at 10:06 PM

100 in 175,000,000

BobMbx on March 30, 2012 at 10:16 PM

predator:Positive Reinforcement type thinking?!:)

canopfor on March 30, 2012 at 10:15 PM

LOLZ! I figure I’m a sure dollar ahead.:D

predator on March 30, 2012 at 10:16 PM

I play the lottery by proxy. I paid my taxes and the guys who got the government checks went and bought boatload of tickets with those checks.

galtani on March 30, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Bought 2… so my chances are down to only 87 million to 1!

mankai on March 30, 2012 at 10:17 PM

I never play the lottery. But I did today.

$100 worth.

When I win the Mega jackpot each immediate member of the family (two brothers, sister, mom, dad, and my two adult children — last grandparent passed away two weeks ago unfortunately) will each sign the back of the ticket after we consult a good reputable law firm and a good reputable accounting firm.

Then I’m giving all but 5 million of my portion to children’s charities, family charities, diminished capacity adult charities, and a handsome gift to the SPCA and Humane Society. The 5 mil will buy me a couple of food franchises and a moderately sized home (with some awesome amenities) on a lake and/or river out of California. Oh, and a couple of cars and a couple of trucks. That is all I desire.

FlatFoot on March 30, 2012 at 10:17 PM

I bought 5. Figured it was worth $5 to take a shot at this.

Of course, the amount of this jackpot that Barry Soetoro is going to make off with is disgusting.

The obligatory what would I do:

Buy me some land in the middle of nowhere (only requirement being the ability to get a good internet feed) in the state with the lowest taxes and least regulation. Get a nice large RV to live in (one with it’s own generator, etc) as well as a Ford F-150 Raptor. And I’d basically disappear…

Oh, and a brand new M1-A Garand from Springfield Armory.

I’d then take about $100 million and convert it into gold holdings.

I should easily be set for life.

wildcat72 on March 30, 2012 at 10:17 PM

I didn’t buy a ticket because I will get all the Government free-bees that come from the taxes that will be paid..” –OWS, Fluck, and typical Liberals

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Grrrrrr.

;)

IrishEi on March 30, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Be honest. How many of you paid the idiot tax today?

Was tempted, until I realized that taking a match to the money and watching it burn into ashes would be more satisfying than “contributing” it to the government.

But then, I feel that way about much of the money I “contribute” to the government. At least I had a choice about this dollar.

The fact is that many Democratic voters are essentially playing the lottery when they go to the polls. They’re hoping they get back more from the government than they are required to “contribute”.

farsighted on March 30, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Rumor has it that the governors of Illinois and California are buying tickets in the hopes of winning – and balancing their state budgets.

GarandFan on March 30, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Yeah, we did, family pool $10 each, $70 total…we’re gonna win!

tinkerthinker on March 30, 2012 at 10:18 PM

predator:Positive Reinforcement type thinking?!:)

canopfor on March 30, 2012 at 10:15 PM
—————————————

LOLZ! I figure I’m a sure dollar ahead.:D

predator on March 30, 2012 at 10:16 PM

predator:Well..uh…ya!:)

canopfor on March 30, 2012 at 10:18 PM

The lottery is the poor man’s tax. I don’t play every drawing, but I do play. I spend $4 – $1 for Mega Million, $2 for Power Ball, $1 for Lotto. Wasteful as that might be, no need to more more wasteful spending $10 or $20 each for numbers.

hadsil on March 30, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Think about it this way: $640M = $.640B (BILLION) paid out over 26 years. The future value of this thing is close to a billion dollars and can probably reach that number with re-investment of the annual proceeds.
.
I’d buy an island, yeah, an island and keep everybody freakin’ off it! Just call me Robinson Crusoe.

ExpressoBold on March 30, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Dedicated to all those who took a chance.

predator on March 30, 2012 at 10:20 PM

First, you’re going to need to make a campaign contribution…

M240H on March 30, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Oh I *plan* to!

Rep. West, expect to see a really nice campaign war chest for your upcoming run in 2016.

That, and maybe run for Mayor of NYC…if for no other reason, just to have gobs of air time to tell Bloomberg exactly where he can put his salt ban.

Never done lottery before. Is the annual payment typically larger than the lump sum or are these special circumstances?

Client Number Nine on March 30, 2012 at 10:11 PM

As azz-backwards as the tax law, you’ll probably better off in the long run to take the annual payments, but i rather have the lump sum payment up front, put aside 10% to cover future tax payments and drop most of my money into Munis and shelters offshore.

That’s right, I have no problem with keeping Uncle Obama from getting more than he needs…If you can’t trust them with money after Solyndra/Amtrak/LightSquared, etc, do you think I’m gonna give them *more* willingly?

BlaxPac on March 30, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Rumor has it that the governors of Illinois and California are buying tickets in the hopes of winning – and balancing their state budgets.

GarandFan on March 30, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Hahaha! That’s too funny! But being dems I bet they’d only give back the $1 to the state.

tinkerthinker on March 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM

When I win, I’m gonna buy Guinness.

The brewery.

IrishEi on March 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM

I play when it gets big for one reason.

Th entertainment of the fantasy is well worth the $10.

It’s not an idiot tax, it’s an accuse to dream for a day or two. Th dream isn’t quite as believable if you don ave a ticket.

p0s3r on March 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM

I have never played the lottery but can two or more people pick the same numbers?

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Yes. So the strategy is to buy all the same numbers if you buy more than one ticket. The jackpot is split according to the number of winning tickets sold, not how many people bought the winning number.

So, if you bought 2 identical tickets, and some else bought those same numbers you would win 2/3 of the pot vice 1/2 if you had just purchased a single ticket.

In tonight’s drawing, that difference is about $100,000,000 (you’d get ~400M, the other ticket would get ~$200M.

BobMbx on March 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM

I will use my winnings to buy a business with a lot of liberals and then fire them all.

ray on March 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Stupid iPad.

p0s3r on March 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Yeah, we did, family pool $10 each, $70 total…we’re gonna win!

tinkerthinker on March 30, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Nice to see you, friend :)

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Looks like a Democrat won 7 Million,oh wait,wrong lottery!
(sarc)

California Democratic campaign treasurer pleads guilty to looting $7 million from candidates, committees

Submitted 7 hours ago by editor
http://www.breakingnews.com/
=============================

canopfor on March 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM

For a rather modest sum of money, you can give yourself about a 10% chance of winning. :P

In a pick 6 game, buy every combination of, say, 10 of those numbers. It’d cost ~$8,000 dollars and you get around a 10% chance to win.

lorien1973 on March 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Suck it up Allah when, in about 40 min, I WIN!!! I won’t care if Obumba wins. PS, I bought in this time only because it was 600M… 300M is chump change. I’ll send you all an AMF losers post shortly.

Dingbat63 on March 30, 2012 at 10:23 PM

In a pick 6 game, buy every combination of, say, 10 of those numbers. It’d cost ~$8,000 dollars and you get around a 10% chance to win.

lorien1973 on March 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM

And 90% chance of losing the $8000.

galtani on March 30, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Yes. So the strategy is to buy all the same numbers if you buy more than one ticket. The jackpot is split according to the number of winning tickets sold, not how many people bought the winning number.

BobMbx on March 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM

I would have thought it would be better to spread out your chances by selecting different numbers..

Something is better then nothing….

I could be happy with just a cool mil.

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Be honest. How many of you paid the idiot tax today?

Shelling out $5 for a Latte is the real idiot tax and people do it daily.
But yes, I bought two tickets using the change in my car’s ashtray.
A little hopeful bet once in a blue moon isn’t bad.

BakerAllie on March 30, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Nice to see you, friend :)

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Thanks good to see you too!:)

tinkerthinker on March 30, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Btw, isn’t it funny that everyone takes the big payout…almost as if no one trusts that the government will be good for the payments years down the road!

ellifint on March 30, 2012 at 10:15 PM

The money will always be there. Your annual award comes from an unbreakable trust for the duration until it is all paid out.

But you really want to take the lump sum because if you die before it’s all paid out… there’s no beneficiary allowed. If you die before you collect — the money reverts to where unclaimed winnings go. Here in California it is claimed that the money goes directly to ‘the schools’.

FlatFoot on March 30, 2012 at 10:25 PM

The future value of this thing is close to a billion dollars and can probably reach that number with re-investment of the annual proceeds.

ExpressoBold on March 30, 2012 at 10:19 PM

Be advised: the annuity is invested in US Treasury bonds.

If you factor in inflation (not just the decadal average either…somebody is going to have to make up for QE1 and QE2), you might be dirt poor in year 26.

BobMbx on March 30, 2012 at 10:26 PM

I have two tickets. Good luck everybody. LOL! :) :) :)

Theophile on March 30, 2012 at 10:26 PM

Sooooooo you’re telling me there’s a chance!

stldave on March 30, 2012 at 10:26 PM

In statistics, there is the concept of “a fair game”. It’s where the payout is in line with the odds and the cost.

For example, if you have a one in a million chance to win, it cost a dollar to play, and the payout is a million dollars – that’s a “fair game”.

Tonights drawing is actually a few times better than that: 640 million for a 1 in 176 million chance.

Still – you had a better chance of being killed driving to get the ticket, than winning.

Rebar on March 30, 2012 at 10:27 PM

You want to take the money because you can earn more with than the trust can

p0s3r on March 30, 2012 at 10:27 PM

canopfor on March 30, 2012 at 10:14 PM
—————————————

35% times (1-state taxes) ot IRS is the maximum you can be forced to pay the IRS. Of course they accept free gift payments.

astonerii on March 30, 2012 at 10:15 PM

astoneri:Here in Ontario,Canada,what you win,is what you bank,
only the interest is taxed off that cash,in your bank
account!:)

canopfor on March 30, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Looks like a Democrat won 7 Million,oh wait,wrong lottery!
(sarc)

California Democratic campaign treasurer pleads guilty to looting $7 million from candidates, committees

canopfor on March 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Democrats play by different rules..

It’s not a lottery in their mind…

It’s an entitlement…

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:27 PM

What’s a dollar, AP?

Blake on March 30, 2012 at 10:28 PM

First thing I would do is immediately officially register an alias (fictitious name) and claim the prize under that name.

crosspatch on March 30, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Don’t forget to have the newspaper articles run about the “car wreck you died in.” Relatives will find out.

TugboatPhil on March 30, 2012 at 10:28 PM

I did have a second thought when buying…something I haven’t done in about 5 years…I was given the option of a double…so WHEN my number wins, I’d get double or I could get 2 numbers. I thought 1.2 billion is too much so, in the spirit of OWS and Libs, I stayed at just 640M. 30 minutes suckers!

Dingbat63 on March 30, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Hawaii doesn’t have a lottery and is only one of two states that does not allow any type of “gambling”. If it did…I’d be in for $10. I always buy a few tickets when I go to Michigan to visit my family. As was said above, the dream is worth the few bucks.

HawaiiLwyr on March 30, 2012 at 10:30 PM

Two bucks out of the car ashtray change is ok once in a blue moon. Lol..

Good luck Hot Air posters. If someone besides me wins I hope it’s one of you guys.

BakerAllie on March 30, 2012 at 10:30 PM

How many of you paid the idiot tax today?

Honestly an idiot tax … it is much of an idiot tax as term life insurance is?

jlemieu1 on March 30, 2012 at 10:30 PM

will use my winnings to buy a business with a lot of liberals and then fire them all.

ray on March 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM

The New York Times? I hope you win if I don’t.

tinkerthinker on March 30, 2012 at 10:30 PM

Dingbat63 on March 30, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Are you still going to let Gingrich be the President of Mars too DB?

Rovin on March 30, 2012 at 10:30 PM

I would have thought it would be better to spread out your chances by selecting different numbers..

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Try to conceptualize this:

1 ticket odds: 1:175,000,000
10 ticket odds: 10:175,000,000

Your odds have not been appreciably increased by spending 10 times the money.

However, if you spend $58M, your odds are 1:3. About the same odds as an average MLB player getting a hit.

BobMbx on March 30, 2012 at 10:31 PM

canopfor on March 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM
————————————–

Democrats play by different rules..

It’s not a lottery in their mind…

It’s an entitlement…

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Electrongod:

Yup,and I guess the treasurer,Kinde Durkee(Kinda Dirty-sarc),
screwed Diane Fiensteins Campaign loot!:)

canopfor on March 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM

The money will always be there. Your annual award comes from an unbreakable trust for the duration until it is all paid out.

But you really want to take the lump sum because if you die before it’s all paid out… there’s no beneficiary allowed. If you die before you collect — the money reverts to where unclaimed winnings go. Here in California it is claimed that the money goes directly to ‘the schools’.

FlatFoot on March 30, 2012 at 10:25 PM

March 7, 2012. An 81-year-old Rhode Island woman came forward on Tuesday to claim a $336.4 million PowerBall prize, the third biggest jackpot in the game’s history, lottery officials said.

I guess she is not going the annuity route.

galtani on March 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM

I bought a hundred tickets. Someone do the math for me. Whats my chances?

hawkdriver on March 30, 2012 at 10:06 PM

You probably have better chance of visiting Afghanistan then winning the lottery.
/

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:10 PM

That’s how I got sucked into OEF?

Freaking math!

hawkdriver on March 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM

BobMbx on March 30, 2012 at 10:26 PM

Another good reason to take the lump sum: No guarantee the state that you win the ticket may actually *have* the money in 6 years, let alone 26. /sarc. kinda.

Besides, I can invest that kind of money in actually buying something that pay off a heck of a lot better than T-Bills or Notes.

Apple & Microsoft stock. Plus shares in a agribusiness like ConAgra or a bucket load of smaller mom-pop farms.

BlaxPac on March 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Hawaii doesn’t have a lottery and is only one of two states that does not allow any type of “gambling”.

Yet, you, it is said, produced the biggest gamble of all: Dear Leader. /s

Dingbat63 on March 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM

I always buy one ticket that mostly comprises of mine and my sisters birthday and month (UNLUCKIEST STINKIN’ NUMBERS EVAH BTW!!!!) but I threw in a extra $5 for a few randoms yesterday.

When I gassed my car up today at about noon, I heard a clerk say that they had already done over $1500 in just lottery sales. Yikes!

Yakko77 on March 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Dedicated to all those who took a chance.

predator on March 30, 2012 at 10:20 PM

.
Awwwwwww… I thought you were going to go for this one.

ExpressoBold on March 30, 2012 at 10:33 PM

I bought $5 worth of tickets.
I hope I don’t win.
I wouldn’t survive the party.

poteen on March 30, 2012 at 10:33 PM

In a pick 6 game, buy every combination of, say, 10 of those numbers. It’d cost ~$8,000 dollars and you get around a 10% chance to win.

lorien1973 on March 30, 2012 at 10:22 PM

And 90% chance of losing the $8000.

galtani on March 30, 2012 at 10:24 PM

It is a 5 +1 pick game. so…

astonerii on March 30, 2012 at 10:34 PM

But you really want to take the lump sum because if you die before it’s all paid out… there’s no beneficiary allowed. If you die before you collect — the money reverts to where unclaimed winnings go. Here in California it is claimed that the money goes directly to ‘the schools’.

FlatFoot on March 30, 2012 at 10:25 PM

Nope, its property. It goes to your estate just like any other annuity would. Maybe its different in CA.

BobMbx on March 30, 2012 at 10:35 PM

Maybe its different in CA. BobMbx on March 30, 2012 at 10:35 PM

EVERYTHING is different in California.

Dingbat63 on March 30, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Winning,and paying half to the IRS should be a criminal offence!
(sarc)

canopfor on March 30, 2012 at 10:14 PM

35% times (1-state taxes) ot IRS is the maximum you can be forced to pay the IRS. Of course they accept free gift payments.

astonerii on March 30, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Here in Missouri, the Feds take 25% up front; and the State takes another 4%.

But, why worry about it? It’s found money, anyway. It’s not as though you sweated and put in years of hard work to get the money and the .gov came along and ripped a pile off the top. You did nothing to earn it. It’s like finding a $10 bill instead of a $20. Who cares? It’s found money.

Solaratov on March 30, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Hasn’t the site had enough fluff for one day? I agree with ellifint, get the money up front in one sum, spend it like crazy. Buy land with water on it, metals and arms/ammo.

Bmore on March 30, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Your odds have not been appreciably increased by spending 10 times the money.

However, if you spend $58M, your odds are 1:3. About the same odds as an average MLB player getting a hit.

BobMbx on March 30, 2012 at 10:31 PM

I get what your saying..

In the past, I bet on horse races…
If I bet on all of them…I would win…..just that I lost on all the rest of them…
But if the payout was big enough on that winner…

Just luck…anyway you slice it.

Electrongod on March 30, 2012 at 10:36 PM

Are you kidding me? This jackpot is probably going to end up five times the size of Obama’s current war chest. I’d be crazy to pass up the chance. I’m in on the pool at work, as well as ten random numbers of my own.

I’d start making lists of charitable and political organizations. Top of the list is Judicial Watch.

disa on March 30, 2012 at 10:37 PM

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