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.

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Karmashock on March 30, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Spread the wealth! it is a recipe for prosperity!

Man, now I am totally bummed out. After losing I now realize how worthless my lottery purchase was…

I sure hope no one won the jackpot, Tuesday, here I come. I will win Tuesday, a cool billion dollars.

astonerii on March 30, 2012 at 11:25 PM

Strange but diff numbers on the same site. The lead site says:

2 4 23 38 46 23

I lose either way.

Dingbat63 on March 30, 2012 at 11:26 PM

I need a morning after lottery pill.

BobMbx on March 30, 2012 at 11:27 PM

I bought A ticket and knew I wouldn’t win, but considered what I would do if I did. Thus, I got something out of it. Life is what you make it.

The idiots are the ones who buy a lot of tickets, like that is going to help them win or something.

Red Cloud on March 30, 2012 at 11:27 PM

The lottery should split at a reasonable number and the odds of winning should multiply.

That way no one gets a 175 but 35 people get five million or whatever.

Karmashock on March 30, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Spoken like a true re-distributionist. Give yourself a solid B+

Rovin on March 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM

All of the people buying lottery tickets shows that OWS has failed miserably.

sentinelrules on March 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM

The jackpot? The biggest in the history of the world.

Biggest ever lottery jackpot, huh?

To all you guys who are rushing out to contribute your share to the eventual winner’s prize, remember:
You can’t lose if you don’t play!

The lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math and/or logic.

:)

itsnotaboutme on March 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Anyone know how I can retract that email I sent my boss a little while ago?

Dingbat63 on March 30, 2012 at 11:23 PM

.
RUN! Run vewy, vewy fast! Try to get ther’ befowe the offending message. Then tewe it up!

ExpressoBold on March 30, 2012 at 11:30 PM

The lead site says:

2 4 23 38 46 23
.
These are the official numbers for 3/30/2012. Winner information not available yet.

ExpressoBold on March 30, 2012 at 11:33 PM

The lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math and/or logic.

:)

itsnotaboutme on March 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM

I bet you’re a gas at county fairs, telling everyone how silly it is to play ring toss. Or does “bad at math” apply there too?

BobMbx on March 30, 2012 at 11:35 PM

The lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math and/or logic.

:)

itsnotaboutme on March 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Actually, at the current numbers, it is no longer a tax. the dollar you pay in has a higher potential return value than the risk of total loss. So, while it is totally irrational at $5m to buy a ticket if you do not get a rush of enjoyment commensurate to having spent that dollar, at $462M or after taxes where I live $284M, it is no longer an irrational, but rational when you consider that you can win more than the inverse of the risk/reward and you get a rush of enjoyment commensurate with having spent that dollar.

Your argument of it being a tax on the people with bad math is valid at certain times, at this time, facts have changed, and so to do the calculations.

You must be extremely poor at math?

astonerii on March 30, 2012 at 11:43 PM

Heh, the lottery website is crashed. Wont load for me! LOL!!!

Yakko77 on March 30, 2012 at 11:53 PM

Never mind. Just had to reload a few times.

Still poor…. HAHAHA!!!!

Yakko77 on March 30, 2012 at 11:55 PM

astonerii on March 30, 2012 at 11:43 PM

Except that at this level they’ll sell nearly all the number combinations and a lot of combinations — especially those with low numbers that correspond to dates — will sell multiple times. So . . . you might have to share it.

But the perpetual truth for some players is that your dollar buys you a few hours or days of pleasant daydreaming about how you’d spend your loot. That’s worth a buck.

SoRight on March 30, 2012 at 11:55 PM

astonerii on March 30, 2012 at 11:43 PM

You make some good points, but these points still stand:

To all you guys who are rushing out to contribute your share to the eventual winner’s prize, remember:
You can’t lose if you don’t play!

Lighten up, guys! If you can

get a rush of enjoyment commensurate to having spent that dollar

then I can get a buzz out of smiling at you while you do it!

itsnotaboutme on March 30, 2012 at 11:56 PM

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.

Yes, because we all know how much the Obama adminstration hates
those regressive taxes.

Hawkins1701 on March 31, 2012 at 12:01 AM

Except that at this level they’ll sell nearly all the number combinations and a lot of combinations — especially those with low numbers that correspond to dates — will sell multiple times. So . . . you might have to share it.

But the perpetual truth for some players is that your dollar buys you a few hours or days of pleasant daydreaming about how you’d spend your loot. That’s worth a buck.

SoRight on March 30, 2012 at 11:55 PM

That is why I added the statement of commensurate with the enjoyment you get. That increases your value, whether you win or lose.

I like to play craps, I hate roulette and card games. Losing money on craps is not a loss, as I enjoy it to the extent that I was willing to lose that specific amount of money. Usually about one trip every five years or so and take $150 with me. Its fun and entertainment, and costs over my lifetime much less than my video games. Now if I played the other games, it is pure loss, agravated by the game and out the money.

astonerii on March 31, 2012 at 12:01 AM

I got the megaball 23, and the number 4. Did I win?

bernverdnardo1 on March 31, 2012 at 12:01 AM

The lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math and/or logic.

:)

itsnotaboutme on March 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM

If I win, I’m giving it all to you. Wish me luck.

hawkdriver on March 31, 2012 at 12:02 AM

then I can get a buzz out of smiling at you while you do it!

itsnotaboutme on March 30, 2012 at 11:56 PM

That is free for you, and well worth the investment. I spent $30 on this run through. I think the three days of imagination were worth the $30, as typically a movie costs about $30 to go see and lasts at most 3 hours, and in these days and ages the movies are highly likely to disappoint. I will drop another $20 if no one won this go through, and imagine for a few more days. I never intended to spend $30 initially, as I thought the tickets I bought on Tuesday were for Tuesday.

astonerii on March 31, 2012 at 12:05 AM

If I won, I’d be heading out of this tyrannical mess and heading where I could purchase my own personal army and be left alone forever.

tom daschle concerned on March 31, 2012 at 12:05 AM

I got the megaball 23, and the number 4. Did I win?

bernverdnardo1 on March 31, 2012 at 12:01 AM

$3

astonerii on March 31, 2012 at 12:05 AM

Whoever wins oughta share the wealth. I mean, we have to eat our broccoli and peas after all…

/

Logus on March 31, 2012 at 12:10 AM

If we’re dreaming…

-Pay off debt – chump change at that level.
-Buy a small farm, some animals and equipment – I want an underground house too.
-Take some trips we’d wanted to take – nothing fancy (see some family and friends, take an extended summer tour of Europe and Israel).
-Buy an MGB, maybe a couple other Brit cars.
-Set aside a nice savings account wherein we can live off the interest – pay our yearly property taxes and such.
-Set up some nice funds for close family and friends.
-Give the rest away to charity of our choosing.

At that level of winnings, most of the money would be given away. We don’t want to live the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”.

Logus on March 31, 2012 at 12:17 AM

I can’t help but think back to all of the stories I’ve read about lottery winners going downhill from the moment their numbers were drawn. Lost friendships, emotional rollercoasters, binge eating, binge drinking, binge spending, bad investments, eventually losing it all etc. I used to do the lottery many years ago, but I always felt that there would be something disappointing or unsatisfactory about winning that much money.

It wasn’t until I’d read Ayn Rand that I realized why: Wealth is best enjoyed as the product of your own labor. If you win the lottery, you have all that money, but without the self esteem that comes from earning it honestly. In addition, the experience of earning great wealth prepares one for the lifestyle associated with having it. Dump a huge pile of cash on someone who hasn’t earned it, and they invariably blow it on gaudy trinkets, tasteless furniture and clothes which don’t suit them. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve read a story about a lottery winner who hit skid row, then said losing the money was the best thing that ever happened to them.

Sharke on March 31, 2012 at 12:19 AM

Any winners? If not, the drawing next week could be for a billion! :) :) :)

Theophile on March 31, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Look at it this way:

If you buy a ticket, odds of you winning are 1 in 176 million.

If you don’t buy a ticket, odds of you winning are 1 in infinity.

Infinity is infinitely larger than 176 million, so basically buying a ticket improves my odds infinitely over not buying one!

More coffee, please!

By the way, I got four numbers (not the Mega) on a quick pick 5. Not too bad.

tbrosz on March 31, 2012 at 12:29 AM

Consider it your only voluntary tax.

Cindy Munford on March 31, 2012 at 12:34 AM

The lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math and/or logic.

:)

itsnotaboutme on March 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM

So what? Rather have the government make up the revenue elsewhere. It least this way it’s voluntary and the bottom 48 % get to pay along with the rest of us.

WryTrvllr on March 31, 2012 at 12:34 AM

I have better chances of my blog getting more than a few dozen hits a day.

Wait a minute…

… Meh.

Logus on March 31, 2012 at 12:44 AM

So if someone wins, that money should be confiscated from them and distributed to the 99% right? It’s the only fair thing to do right?

imshocked on March 31, 2012 at 12:46 AM

Dump a huge pile of cash on someone who hasn’t earned it, and they invariably blow it on gaudy trinkets, tasteless furniture and clothes which don’t suit them. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve read a story about a lottery winner who hit skid row, then said losing the money was the best thing that ever happened to them.

Sharke on March 31, 2012 at 12:19 AM

Don’t worry. I plan on only buying tasteful furniture and trinkets along with clothes that do suit me. And a good looking cabana boy.

Laura in Maryland on March 31, 2012 at 12:48 AM

Rumor heard on WLW radio about 30 minutes ago…

No winner in the MegaMillions drawing!

Nothing on their website; maybe they were talking about a specific state rather than the entire game.

If true, this would put the next jackpot somewhat more than $1B!

E-R

electric-rascal on March 31, 2012 at 1:22 AM

Don’t worry. I plan on only buying tasteful furniture and trinkets along with clothes that do suit me. And a good looking cabana boy.

Laura in Maryland on March 31, 2012 at 12:48 AM

Ohhhhhhhhhh, LauraIs that job still open???

Gohawgs on March 31, 2012 at 3:07 AM

Americans spent nearly $1.5 billion for a chance to hit the jackpot, which amounts to a $462 million lump sum and around $347 million after federal tax withholding.

Suckers.

Although if you are careful to bet only on infrequently chosen numbers that can help the odds.

pedestrian on March 31, 2012 at 3:09 AM

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

Look… I am a treasury manager and when the potential return is so big it is certainly worth venturing a buck (as part of a diversified investment portfolio). It’s fun too until the numbers are picked and you got nothing.

lexhamfox on March 31, 2012 at 3:14 AM

Nine Ways to Win!
Match You Win* Approx. Odds
5 White Balls + Mega Ball JACKPOT* 1:175,711,536
5 White Balls $250,000 1:3,904,701
4 White Balls + Mega Ball $10,000 1:689,065
4 White Balls $150 1:15,313
3 White Balls + Mega Ball $150 1:13,781
3 White Balls $7 1:306
2 White Balls + Mega Ball $10 1:844
1 White Ball + Mega Ball $3 1:141
0 White Balls + Mega Ball $2 1:75

Overall odds of winning are 1:40

I had accidentally posted on wrong thread earlier.

Hopefully, even if you all didn’t win the big prize, ya gotta admit, 2nd place aint too damn shabby either.

Sharke on March 31, 2012 at 12:19 AM

LMAO. Im so used to living like a real Middle Class person, there isn’t much I’d want to buy for myself, strangely enough (outside taking care of family and friends with a good $1 million apiece).

Then again, i would LOVE to get that “Smokey & The Bandit” Trans Am…Maybe drop in that Flux Capacitor I’ve been tinkering with…:o)

BlaxPac on March 31, 2012 at 4:42 AM

How much fun there is for a couple of bucks and what do we hear? People whining about the lottery calling it the idiot tax. We all sat around sipping our coffee curing the worlds problems for about an hour chatting about what we would do if we won. What about the over two thousand dollars a year it costs to smoke?

mixplix on March 31, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Someone in Maryland bought a winning ticket.
crosspatch on March 31, 2012 at 1:26 AM

My first thought was that some DC government worker probably won. Great.

LoganSix on March 31, 2012 at 8:08 AM

Mayor Bloomberg and MichelleS’ next target…….SUGAR.

The ground is being laid in a big way as 60 Minutes will be linking Sugar to CANCER and HEART DISEASE.

People have no clue how many things are going to be OUTRIGHT BANNED by the Progressives under OBAMACARE, “as the Secretary deems necessary”.

You wait, you don’t think Gambling will be curtailed and banned eventually?

Think how many products people can get hurt with. Scissors? Butter knives? Staplers?

In a sane world OBAMACARE would be thrown out 9-0 by the SCOTUS.

God help us…….and God help Mitt Romney do the wise thing NOW……..and in January.

PappyD61 on March 31, 2012 at 8:27 AM

I like the idea of doing whatever with all but $100 million…….

And using that to set up a SUPERPAC to defeat Obama in November.

Use it to run ads in key swing states and just carpet bomb it with negative ads like you’ve always wanted to see about Obama.

ABO2012!

PappyD61 on March 31, 2012 at 8:33 AM

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

Technically, when the size of the jackpot grows over the odds of winning x 1$ ($175m in the case of Mega Millions; $350m now for Powerball which recently moved to $2 tickets), a lottery ticket is a gainful investment. The more you buy, the more you make!

HitNRun on March 31, 2012 at 8:36 AM

I work in Woodlawn MD and bought tickets at a 7-11. Not the right 7-11 though… :(

ManWithNoName on March 31, 2012 at 8:39 AM

There are 3 winning tickets.

Let’s see: people spent a total of 1.5 billions for the jackpot of 675 millions dollars, the governments had already taken a more than 50% cut, Now the winners of the draw will be taxed at the top rate for State and Federal Tax. The real winners are the state and the federal governments.

galtani on March 31, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Spoken like a true re-distributionist. Give yourself a solid B+

Rovin on March 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Shazaam…

MooCowBang on March 31, 2012 at 8:48 AM

How much fun there is for a couple of bucks and what do we hear? People whining about the lottery calling it the idiot tax. We all sat around sipping our coffee curing the worlds problems for about an hour chatting about what we would do if we won. What about the over two thousand dollars a year it costs to smoke?

mixplix on March 31, 2012 at 6:00 AM

Yup.

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

It’s not a tax at all. It’s completely voluntary. And… I won, twice.

I won $4 and $7 according to my state’s payout list. It’s not enough to buy my baby granddaughter an elephant but I’m a winner this morning so the rest of you can just keep talking about hopey changey nightmare crap. I’m now livin’ the dream…

I probably won’t be posting anymore ’cause I have to meet with lawyers, to figure out how best to invest it, you know, open some trust funds, start a charity foundation…

Wha?

Oh, I bought $20 worth, why do you want to know?

Fallon on March 31, 2012 at 9:34 AM

I won $2! — I didn’t buy a ticket.

And I saved the gas that would have been required to drive to Georgia and back to buy that ticket.

Woo! Saved about $10 by not buying a ticket!

Not that there is anything wrong with buying a ticket. I would have if I’d been in the area.

But only one ticket. Buying two (or more) guarantees you’ll be buying a loser…why waste the money?

Though I do admit setting up a PAC to defeat Obama is an interesting idea…

ProfShadow on March 31, 2012 at 9:49 AM

I need a morning after lottery pill.
BobMbx on March 30, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Ding ding, you won the thread! :)

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 31, 2012 at 9:51 AM

There are 3 winning tickets.
Let’s see: people spent a total of 1.5 billions for the jackpot of 675 millions dollars, the governments had already taken a more than 50% cut, Now the winners of the draw will be taxed at the top rate for State and Federal Tax. The real winners are the state and the federal governments.
galtani on March 31, 2012 at 8:47 AM

The real winner is you, captain obvious?

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 31, 2012 at 9:55 AM

This is what I find hilarious about these stories….

People will line up for 2 hours to get a ticket for a $500M jackpot. But won’t buy a ticket for a $10M jackpot. LOL. Yeah because $10M is chump change and it’s only worth your while when the jackpot gets to some real money, right?

For the record, if I came into that kind of money I’d get Van Halen to play at my party. (if you don’t get the reference, don’t worry).

angryed on March 31, 2012 at 9:55 AM

My first thought was that some DC government worker probably won. Great.

LoganSix on March 31, 2012 at 8:08 AM

So that explains the want ad I saw this morning in DC:

Wanted: slacker to replace slacker that suddenly quit. No skills or education needed. Job Description: sleep, read, complain, work on Democrat campaigns

angryed on March 31, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Yeah and you that didn’t play don’t get the $10 tax deduction for gambling losses that I get. I’m keeping $10 away from Obumba. So there!

Dingbat63 on March 31, 2012 at 10:04 AM

People will line up for 2 hours to get a ticket for a $500M jackpot. But won’t buy a ticket for a $10M jackpot. LOL. Yeah because $10M is chump change and it’s only worth your while when the jackpot gets to some real money, right?

angryed on March 31, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Morning Ed, I just need to toot my own horn a little more. After I bought my $20 worth of winning Mega Million tickets, I said, Sir? Could I please have $10 worth of tomorrow’s Power Ball tickets, just in case.?.. :) See, some of us aren’t so dumb.

Fallon on March 31, 2012 at 10:04 AM

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 31, 2012 at 9:55 AM

In distinct contrast to a perpetual loser like you don’t even know how to spell.

galtani on March 31, 2012 at 10:06 AM

In distinct contrast to a perpetual loser like you, who don’t even know how to spell.

galtani on March 31, 2012 at 10:06 AM

galtani on March 31, 2012 at 10:07 AM

I won $2! — I didn’t buy a ticket.

ProfShadow on March 31, 2012 at 9:49 AM

I don’t want to burst your bubble *ahem* but as a real lottery winner I need to correct you. You only saved $1. Mega Million tickets cost a dollar, Power Ball tickets cost two bucks. So, technically, you could “win” $2 tonight but you only “won” $1 yesterday.

Fallon on March 31, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Government crack cocaine

Sonosam on March 31, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Power Ball tickets cost two bucks. Fallon on March 31, 2012 at 10:10 AM

And Power Ball tonight is only $60M. Hardly worth the effort.

Dingbat63 on March 31, 2012 at 10:20 AM

In California, there were 29 5/5 winners which got them $227,955 each. Not bad.

Blake on March 31, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Oh wait…it is bad. I wasn’t one of them. :(

Blake on March 31, 2012 at 10:24 AM

And Power Ball tonight is only $60M. Hardly worth the effort.

Dingbat63 on March 31, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Shut the front door! I don’t want too many people playing tonight! I gots the fevah and the only cure is more cowbell. Sorry, I guess the winning last night has gone to my head.

Fallon on March 31, 2012 at 10:24 AM

I really hope that none of us whom favor lower taxes actually bought tickets! The lottery is just a tax on those of us who suck at math.

Russ in OR on March 31, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Notice how he deflected when she asked about his statement of fact about “targeting lower income” people?

Of course they don’t target lower income people, but in his mind he assumes that (without any facts to support it a targeting campaign) so he deflects saying more lower income people purchase them.

He’s worthless.

ButterflyDragon on March 31, 2012 at 10:33 AM

For sale: Used lottery tickets, 10 cents each…

right2bright on March 31, 2012 at 10:34 AM

I picked the numbers from Lost and I got 2 out of the 6.

SoulGlo on March 31, 2012 at 10:35 AM

In California, there were 29 5/5 winners which got them $227,955 each. Not bad.

Blake on March 31, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Out of what, 10 million tickets? So that is what %? .0003%…you would have better odds of randomly picking out my phone number if I gave you my area code…send me $10 and the number, if it’s correct I will give you $227,955…

right2bright on March 31, 2012 at 10:36 AM

I didn’t win , didn’t expect to win. But we had an office pool , $5 , and I considered it insurance. If we did hit , I didn’t want to be the only person left here Monday morning.

TXChas on March 31, 2012 at 10:40 AM

You killjoys spent more on a a cup of coffee yesterday than I spent on a lottery ticket.

Then, everybody at my job that also bought one laughed about it and talked all day about what they would do with the money.

It’s called entertainment. Enjoy your no fun lives.

Moesart on March 31, 2012 at 10:44 AM

I really hope that none of us whom favor lower taxes actually bought tickets! The lottery is just a tax on those of us who suck at math.

Russ in OR on March 31, 2012 at 10:31 AM

I don’t understand this mindset at all. The lottery is completely voluntary, it isn’t a tax on stupid or people who suck at math. Once in a while, it’s a fun chance at a dream. It isn’t a tax at all.

I’ve probably played three times in the last four years, or so. I think all this negative pooh-poohing of the lottery is silly. (Unless, you oppose it on religious grounds, then you have every right not to play *even if you secretly want to*, lol).

Don’t Republicans believe that we are better stewards of our own money? Don’t we have the ability to decide for ourselves whether we have disposable income and want to take a chance for a $1 or $20? It’s still somewhat of a free country, you can mock those who played last night but we had an infinitesimal chance at winning. Those who didn’t play kept their money safe but didn’t even have the fun and excitement of having a tiny, tiny chance.

I’ve paid more for lesser entertainment. Meh.

Fallon on March 31, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Moesart on March 31, 2012 at 10:44 AM

I hemmed and hawed and rewrote while you said it better, concisely and succinctly. Bravo!

Fallon on March 31, 2012 at 10:55 AM

I bought 5 quick picks and matched 0 numbers. I think I beat the odds in my own way.

zmdavid on March 31, 2012 at 11:04 AM

It always cracks me up when the guy who runs our office pool gives us a report of the results if we won anything for the Powerball games. It’s usually something like “we won $37 from the 95 tickets we bought.” So far, no one has ever come forward asking for their share. LOL

I guess we didn’t do very well in the Mega Millions, either. Otherwise I’d probably hear protracted cheering and celebrating from 20 miles away.

PatriotGal2257 on March 31, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Oh for pete’s sake all you snactimonious critics, get a grip. What is wrong with taking a risk once in a while? If a person gets enjoyment out of it who are you to judge? People take risks all the time. People spend money on things you or I consider foolish all the time. So what? I’ll bet there are things you spend money on that I would think are a waste, and vice versa. But I’m not going to judge you for it. On the other hand if you never take a risk or spend money or time just for the fun you are a truly sad person.
I personally know two lottery winners who won $3 million and $17 million respectively. It didn’t change them that much. They invested, bought new homes, gave to kids and grandkids, and treated themselves a bit. Now both of these winners played once a week the same numbers for $2.00. Did they spend more than they won? No where near as they had been playing for less than ten years. It was just extra change and they enjoyed it. They could have spent that $2.00 on a movie rental or candy or soda instead. So what is the big deal?

Deanna on March 31, 2012 at 11:20 AM

The lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math and/or logic.

:)

itsnotaboutme on March 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Maybe, maybe not. One of the things people who are bad at mad are notorious for (and it really drives the rest of us crazy), is their unshakable belief that all functions are linear:

log (1+3)= log (1) + log (3), e^(1+3) = e^1 + e^3, (1+3)^2 = 1^2 + 3^2, etc…

The idea of a linear relationship between utility and money is so bizarre and unrealistic that it makes orthodox Marxism look like hard-headed economic analysis by comparison.

Playing the lottery might not be a good economic investment, even after $176 million, because of diminishing marginal utility, but in order to really evaluate whether it’s a good idea, you would need to compare it with what else you could do with that dollar, and how much you wanted to do/have that thing, what the expected utility you gain from becoming obscenely rich is, and so forth.

If I am financially comfortable enough to buy all the relatively cheap consumer goods that I want at the moment, and will likely continue to be, and everything else I want is insanely more expensive, then the utility of a dollar is much lower than it might be for someone else. I may very well gain more expected utility from a tiny chance of striking it rich than I do from keeping the dollar when I am financially stable enough for it to have a negligible impact on my finances.

RINO in Name Only on March 31, 2012 at 11:25 AM

I really hope that none of us whom favor lower taxes actually bought tickets! The lottery is just a tax on those of us who suck at math.

Russ in OR on March 31, 2012 at 10:31 AM

I agree. If I get hit by lightning you can sure bet I will play a few numbers cuz my luck sure is about to turn!

watertown on March 31, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Maybe, maybe not. One of the things people who are bad at madmath are notorious for (and it really drives the rest of us crazy), is their unshakable belief that all functions are linear:

log (1+3)= log (1) + log (3), e^(1+3) = e^1 + e^3, (1+3)^2 = 1^2 + 3^2, etc…

And don’t even get me started on people who are bad at typing:)

RINO in Name Only on March 31, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Oh for pete’s sake all you snactimonious critics, get a grip. What is wrong with taking a risk once in a while? If a person gets enjoyment out of it who are you to judge? People take risks all the time. People spend money on things you or I consider foolish all the time. So what? I’ll bet there are things you spend money on that I would think are a waste, and vice versa. But I’m not going to judge you for it. On the other hand if you never take a risk or spend money or time just for the fun you are a truly sad person.
I personally know two lottery winners who won $3 million and $17 million respectively. It didn’t change them that much. They invested, bought new homes, gave to kids and grandkids, and treated themselves a bit. Now both of these winners played once a week the same numbers for $2.00. Did they spend more than they won? No where near as they had been playing for less than ten years. It was just extra change and they enjoyed it. They could have spent that $2.00 on a movie rental or candy or soda instead. So what is the big deal?

Deanna on March 31, 2012 at 11:20 AM

This. Thank you…

joejm65 on March 31, 2012 at 11:34 AM

I won seven bucks. Yippee.

steebo77 on March 31, 2012 at 11:37 AM

I think someone needs to hit “release” on the postings button at HotAir on the “naughty words” thread.

some posts not going through.

PappyD61 on March 31, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Oh for pete’s sake all you snactimonious critics, get a grip. What is wrong with taking a risk once in a while? If a person gets enjoyment out of it who are you to judge? People take risks all the time. People spend money on things you or I consider foolish all the time. So what? I’ll bet there are things you spend money on that I would think are a waste, and vice versa. But I’m not going to judge you for it. On the other hand if you never take a risk or spend money or time just for the fun you are a truly sad person.
I personally know two lottery winners who won $3 million and $17 million respectively. It didn’t change them that much. They invested, bought new homes, gave to kids and grandkids, and treated themselves a bit. Now both of these winners played once a week the same numbers for $2.00. Did they spend more than they won? No where near as they had been playing for less than ten years. It was just extra change and they enjoyed it. They could have spent that $2.00 on a movie rental or candy or soda instead. So what is the big deal?

Deanna on March 31, 2012 at 11:20 AM

^^^This, again. It needed to be said.

On the other hand, both my hubby and a girlfriend of mine have won raffles and/or daily number drawings and have won amounts ranging from $250 to $400. Inevitably, almost immediately afterward, there’s either a bill that comes due or an appliance that breaks which costs nearly the same amount as the winnings. That’s some kind of luck. LOL

PatriotGal2257 on March 31, 2012 at 11:46 AM

There were no full winners in California (5+Mega) but there were 29 5 number winners ($227,955).

crosspatch on March 31, 2012 at 12:05 PM

“Reverse Robin Hood; take from the people/the poor and give to the ganster/the Gov’t” — Forbes

Schadenfreude on March 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM

the gangster

Schadenfreude on March 31, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Out of what, 10 million tickets? So that is what %? .0003%…you would have better odds of randomly picking out my phone number if I gave you my area code…send me $10 and the number, if it’s correct I will give you $227,955…

right2bright on March 31, 2012 at 10:36 AM

And your point was what, you drip? There were still a high number of 5/5 winners in California.

Blake on March 31, 2012 at 12:46 PM

DAMMMIT!!!!

When I won I was going to hire Olberman to read Hot Air posts to me while wearing a sundress.

(just doing my part to help with the “recovery”)

Tim_CA on March 31, 2012 at 1:00 PM

hire Olberman to read Hot Air posts to me while wearing a sundress.

Who would be wearing the sundress? Just trying to clear this up.

Dingbat63 on March 31, 2012 at 1:12 PM

I wouldn’t wish the curse of that $462 million or the full [$640 million] jackpot on anyone I know, and I pity those that now fall under the slew of BIG Government regulations and shall now be ‘occupied’ by the dregs of society.

I never play when I could win/take home more than a million. The safety of my family would be at stake if my luck changed that badly.

DannoJyd on March 31, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Dingbat63 on March 31, 2012 at 1:12 PM

Looking for a job? /s

I’m just sayin! LOL!

DannoJyd on March 31, 2012 at 1:39 PM

But the perpetual truth for some players is that your dollar buys you a few hours or days of pleasant daydreaming about how you’d spend your loot. That’s worth a buck.

SoRight on March 30, 2012 at 11:55 PM

And it’s less fattening than spending $1 on a candy bar. And it’s way cheaper than a Starbucks.

talkingpoints on March 31, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Unfortunately I’m not on the Winners list..

Fires1 on March 31, 2012 at 9:49 PM

For the record, if I came into that kind of money I’d get Van Halen to play at my party. (if you don’t get the reference, don’t worry).

angryed on March 31, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Spicoli!!! What happened to the mellow, man?…

Gohawgs on April 1, 2012 at 2:39 AM

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