Hillary: Why yes, I did buy a Powerball ticket

As Powerball fantasies go, this one is decidedly … well, there may not be an adjective invented yet to describe it. Americans across the nation have flocked to convenience stores to become part of the record payout in the multi-state lottery, whose jackpot now tops $1.5 billion, according to estimates, and may go higher. Hillary Clinton says she’s not immune to Powerball fever, but her fantasies run on a single track:

Clinton made clear, though, that even a jackpot of that size would not derail her presidential ambitions.

“And if you win?” co-anchor George Stephanopoulos asked.

“Well,” she said, “I’ll fund my campaign.”

Really, this shouldn’t surprise anyone. She stayed married to Bill through the humiliation of his scandals to gain access to power. She and Bill launched the Clinton Foundation to maintain and expand their contacts to donors and allies to gain power. She wrote two memoirs in order to use them as launching pads to gain power. At some point, one has to admire the focus this Powerball fantasy indicates. Hillary sees everything as a lever to gain power. There isn’t any loss of focus from power acquisition to island living, perpetual room service, and endless rounds of golf for Hillary.

Although, come to think of it … that’s a pretty good description of Barack Obama’s presidency, is it not? Hmmmmm.

The most amusing part of this is it wouldn’t be enough anyway. At $1.5 billion, the 30-year annuity would pay $50 million a year before taxes, which would probably eat up at least half. (By the way, that gross is slightly less than the $57 million that the Clintons earned during the four years Hillary was Secretary of State.) The cash-out option — assuming there is one for a prize this large — is $930 million, of which again half or more would go to taxes. Let’s say for the sake of argument that this leaves a half-billion dollars; that might be a lot to dump into a campaign, but it’s not enough to self-fund.

The odds of winning the Powerball are astronomical, somewhere around 300,000,000:1. The only reason to buy a ticket is to allow yourself a fantasy for a couple of days about how you’d change your life, while in reality you’re actually subsidizing one other person’s ability to do so. If the best fantasy you can come up with is enough cash to continue with your present fantasy, why bother to spend the money at all?

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