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(Des Moines Register)   Just like clockwork, the mass media suddenly realizes the odds on winning a lottery are really, really thin. This is a repeat from every time the jackpot has crossed $100 million   (desmoinesregister.com) divider line 149
    More: Obvious, Mega Millions, Hy-Vee, West Des Moines, office pools, Urbandale, Iowa Department of Education, lot, First Street QuikTrip  
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2894 clicks; posted to Main » on 30 Mar 2012 at 10:43 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-03-30 09:09:24 AM  
What gets me is how huge the lines become for these big payouts. On a base level I get it - it's a ton of loot.

But, just $1 million not enough for you? Not worth your time?
 
2012-03-30 09:26:08 AM  
"Somebody's got to win"

I'm willfully ignorant about the lottery but doesn't the larger the jackpot mean more people buy tickets meaning you have even less chance of winning than usual?
 
2012-03-30 09:51:49 AM  

Mugato: "Somebody's got to win"

I'm willfully ignorant about the lottery but doesn't the larger the jackpot mean more people buy tickets meaning you have even less chance of winning than usual?


No, the chance of winning remains the same. What changes is the chance that you'll be the only one with a winning ticket.
 
2012-03-30 10:00:18 AM  
I think of it this way: I spend $1 and get to dream for 2 minutes. "What if I win? Hmmm...."

Of course I know I'm not going to win, but $1 is worth a 2 minute daydream.
 
2012-03-30 10:05:26 AM  
You know what your odds of winning are if you don't play?

I can spare a few bucks every now and again with a small but healthy sized level of hope in winning the big one. But some people do take it to extremes.
 
2012-03-30 10:10:03 AM  

Cythraul: You know what your odds of winning are if you don't play?

I can spare a few bucks every now and again with a small but healthy sized level of hope in winning the big one. But some people do take it to extremes.


I play if I happen to be at the customer service desk at the supermarket and there's no line.

My neighborhood has traditionally been more elderly. Actually, it used to be age restricted, but that became unsustainable. So while we have more young people and families these days it's still pretty old. The supermarket candy aisle is 80% diabetic candy.

Those old folks sure do love their scratch offs! But it pisses me off to no end that they stand there and play them one after the other and hold up the customer service line. It's like they think they're playing slots.
 
2012-03-30 10:13:50 AM  

Diogenes: Cythraul: You know what your odds of winning are if you don't play?

I can spare a few bucks every now and again with a small but healthy sized level of hope in winning the big one. But some people do take it to extremes.

I play if I happen to be at the customer service desk at the supermarket and there's no line.

My neighborhood has traditionally been more elderly. Actually, it used to be age restricted, but that became unsustainable. So while we have more young people and families these days it's still pretty old. The supermarket candy aisle is 80% diabetic candy.

Those old folks sure do love their scratch offs! But it pisses me off to no end that they stand there and play them one after the other and hold up the customer service line. It's like they think they're playing slots.


I've never actually bought a single lottery ticket. I'm actually too lazy to even drum up the effort to request one. That's how unmotivated I am to play. But if I had a good sized disposable income, I'd probably put a few bucks in it every now and again.

My parents are now stereotypical old people. Scratch off ticket buying, slot machine playing old people. Something happens after you reach 65, I think.
 
2012-03-30 10:14:58 AM  

Cythraul: Something happens after you reach 65, I think.


Presumably you forget how to do math.
 
2012-03-30 10:26:06 AM  
Wait. You mean I don't automatically get the money if I just buy a ticket?
 
2012-03-30 10:28:03 AM  

Cythraul: Diogenes: Cythraul: You know what your odds of winning are if you don't play?

I can spare a few bucks every now and again with a small but healthy sized level of hope in winning the big one. But some people do take it to extremes.

I play if I happen to be at the customer service desk at the supermarket and there's no line.

My neighborhood has traditionally been more elderly. Actually, it used to be age restricted, but that became unsustainable. So while we have more young people and families these days it's still pretty old. The supermarket candy aisle is 80% diabetic candy.

Those old folks sure do love their scratch offs! But it pisses me off to no end that they stand there and play them one after the other and hold up the customer service line. It's like they think they're playing slots.

I've never actually bought a single lottery ticket. I'm actually too lazy to even drum up the effort to request one. That's how unmotivated I am to play. But if I had a good sized disposable income, I'd probably put a few bucks in it every now and again.

My parents are now stereotypical old people. Scratch off ticket buying, slot machine playing old people. Something happens after you reach 65, I think.


My mother started a Christmas tradition a few years back. She goes and gets everyone a couple of scratch-off tickets and we do them after breakfast. It's actually kind of fun, and between all of them we generally win enough to get the money back.
 
2012-03-30 10:32:15 AM  

GAT_00: My mother started a Christmas tradition a few years back. She goes and gets everyone a couple of scratch-off tickets and we do them after breakfast. It's actually kind of fun, and between all of them we generally win enough to get the money back.


Alot of families do that. I don't even consider that gambling. It's just silly fun.

Until your bitter old stingy Aunt Bernice scores $1.5 mil.
 
2012-03-30 10:45:12 AM  
farking morons.
 
2012-03-30 10:46:05 AM  
Lotteries are a tax on people who are bad at math.

Every once in a while I'll buy one ticket, and not check it for a few weeks. That way I can imagine that I've won. I figure a couple bucks is worth the daydreaming.
 
2012-03-30 10:48:33 AM  
Congress needs to pass a simple law:

Each year, one person in the U.S., randomly picked, gets a trillion dollars.

Everyone else earns minimum wage, if employed. If unemployed they get zilch.

We're moving in that direction anyway, why not just get it over with by fiat.
 
2012-03-30 10:51:13 AM  
"One ticket please." I say.

"Only one???" The clerk asks with amazement.

"One is all I need and it is my best increase in odds. I went from no chance to a chance. Beyond that is foolishness."
 
2012-03-30 10:51:38 AM  
Correction, 175.7 million to 50
 
2012-03-30 10:51:38 AM  

Diogenes: But, just $1 million not enough for you? Not worth your time?


I don't even get out of bed for less than a cool 75 mil, man.

/ that always bugged me, too
 
2012-03-30 10:52:48 AM  

BurnShrike: Lotteries are a tax on people who are bad at math.

Every once in a while I'll buy one ticket, and not check it for a few weeks. That way I can imagine that I've won. I figure a couple bucks is worth the daydreaming.


People who say that don't understand what they word "utility" means.
 
2012-03-30 10:52:56 AM  
$5 to the lottery could win me millions.
$5 to TF could win me BIE.

Tough call.
 
TWX
2012-03-30 10:52:57 AM  
I know that I'm exceedingly unlikely to win, but I like being able to dream for a few days.

We only play when the jackpot is massively big because we don't mind spending three or four dollars a year on a dream.
 
2012-03-30 10:53:20 AM  
I don't play the lottery, ever - but if I did, I would play the same six numbers twice per drawing. That way, if someone else matched those numbers and the jackpot was split, I'd at least get two shares - and have fun watching the other winner have a fit because I'd win twice as much.

I wonder how much of their jackpot they'd be willing to spend in court trying to get "their share" of my second share.

/you are more likely to have your submission greenlit on FARK than to win the jackpot
//the thread you're reading was greenlit - think about it!
///not subby
 
2012-03-30 10:53:40 AM  

BurnShrike: Lotteries are a tax on people who are bad at math.


There's always one. Would you rather there be a "tax on people who are bad at math" or a "tax on you"? Because the things the lottery proceeds funds will be paid for somehow.
 
2012-03-30 10:53:49 AM  
It's a 50/50 chance as I see it. Either you win or you don't.
 
2012-03-30 10:53:51 AM  
You can't get hit by lightning if you never stand in the rain
 
2012-03-30 10:53:56 AM  

vernonFL: I think of it this way: I spend $1 and get to dream for 2 minutes. "What if I win? Hmmm...."

Of course I know I'm not going to win, but $1 is worth a 2 minute daydream.


I do the same thing; it's cheap entertainment. The occasional scratch-off is kind of fun, too, but I wish they were a little more challenging (e.g. only being allowed to scratch off 3 spaces instead of razing the whole card).
 
2012-03-30 10:54:00 AM  
Lotteries are for suckers.

Shirley Jackson proved this.
 
2012-03-30 10:54:19 AM  

meanmutton: BurnShrike: Lotteries are a tax on people who are bad at math.

Every once in a while I'll buy one ticket, and not check it for a few weeks. That way I can imagine that I've won. I figure a couple bucks is worth the daydreaming.

People who say that don't understand what they word "utility" means.


People who say that don't understand what the word "they" means.
 
2012-03-30 10:55:12 AM  
I was really thinking hard about what I really do if I one a huge lottery. The little voice in the back of my head says, "Smile a lot."
 
2012-03-30 10:55:16 AM  

BurnShrike: Lotteries are a tax on people who are bad at math.

Every once in a while I'll buy one ticket, and not check it for a few weeks. That way I can imagine that I've won. I figure a couple bucks is worth the daydreaming.


I shared - and still do to an extent - your thoughts. But I'm a little less prone to rub my wife with the 'bad math' angle after she won 50K last year.

/she's one ticket per week
//she bought me a Slurpee and Mars bar
 
2012-03-30 10:55:19 AM  
Cythraul: You know what your odds of winning are if you don't play?

I can spare a few bucks every now and again with a small but healthy sized level of hope in winning the big one. But some people do take it to extremes.


Statistically the same as playing. Zero and almost zero is the same for all intents and purposes. As said above, the only thing you get by playing is personal utility.

The cynic in me will point out you're much more likely to die today, than win. Especially in a horrible mangling and painful car crash.

So by the ticket for a few minuets of ignorant bliss.
 
TWX
2012-03-30 10:56:46 AM  

Dog Welder: Lotteries are for suckers.

Shirley Jackson proved this.


But Bob Dylan made it into a good thing...
 
2012-03-30 10:56:46 AM  
 
2012-03-30 10:56:55 AM  

Diogenes: Aunt Bernice scores $1.5 mil.


I farking hate Aunt Bernice. She smells like mothballs and she pinches my cheeks..
 
2012-03-30 10:57:14 AM  
Remember, the Lottery buys a huge amount of commercials on radio and tv. A well placed news story with a lottery spot in the same break is financially good for both parties. And why waste everyone's time interviewing ticket buyers on what they would do if they win? Do a story on the winner(s).
I play the Federal Lottery every April 15th. The chances of winning are about the same.
 
2012-03-30 10:57:22 AM  

BurnShrike: $5 to the lottery could win me millions.
$5 to TF could win me BIE.

Tough call.


I'm usually just as disappointed after both so it's pretty much a wash.
 
2012-03-30 10:57:33 AM  

Bob_Laublaw: I shared - and still do to an extent - your thoughts.


Get out of my head!
 
2012-03-30 10:57:35 AM  

BurnShrike: Lotteries are a tax on people who are bad at math.


The usual comment from folks with no originality. And as has been pointed out millions of time, it's wrong anyway. Your statement applies to folks who buy a ticket as an investment, not as entertainment.
 
2012-03-30 10:57:41 AM  

Diogenes: But, just $1 million not enough for you? Not worth your time?


Just a way to limit what most people who buy lottery tickets will freely admit is foolish behavior to 1 or 2 times every few years.
 
2012-03-30 10:57:54 AM  
I'm glad that supermarkets now have the automated lottery ticket dispensers, so I don't have to publicly humiliate myself by asking for a ticket from a clerk.
 
2012-03-30 10:58:04 AM  

Diogenes: GAT_00: My mother started a Christmas tradition a few years back. She goes and gets everyone a couple of scratch-off tickets and we do them after breakfast. It's actually kind of fun, and between all of them we generally win enough to get the money back.

Alot of families do that. I don't even consider that gambling. It's just silly fun.

Until your bitter old stingy Aunt Bernice scores $1.5 mil.


Every year we draw names at Christmas. My youngest brother drew my other brother's then-wife's name. Among her gifts, he gave her some fake scratch-off tickets. She thought she won $10,000 until she realized it was a joke. Kind of ruined her Christmas, but there you go. She was kind of an entitled daddy's girl anyway, so nobody felt all that bad for her, my brother (her husband) included.
 
2012-03-30 10:58:10 AM  

Road_Kill: I was really thinking hard about what I really do if I one a huge lottery. The little voice in the back of my head says, "Smile a lot."


Wow! My spelling and diction really sucks today. Covered in total embarrassment!

/On vacation all next week
/Head not really in the game.
 
2012-03-30 10:58:35 AM  
I get the people who buy when it gets big.

What I don't get is the people who throw down big cash when the jackpot gets big.

Some dude on the news just told a reporter he threw $40 down for just himself. There's no difference in both win % or utility to playing once for $2 and playing all those times for $40. Same chance to win, and practically the same utility.

Guess thats how you spot an idiot.
 
2012-03-30 10:59:17 AM  

CarnySaur: I'm glad that supermarkets now have the automated lottery ticket dispensers, so I don't have to publicly humiliate myself by asking for a ticket from a clerk.


"I'd like a package of three CONDOMS..... and a quick pick, please."
 
2012-03-30 10:59:55 AM  
I have never understood the allure of playing the lottery, because the odds are so stacked against you. Now I have been known to purchase a ticket here or there, but see so many people invest nearly their entire paychecks in the lottery, and yet have very little to show for it.

Now don't get me wrong, I AM a gambler, but the lottery is a fool's gamble
 
2012-03-30 11:00:41 AM  

Rootus: BurnShrike: Lotteries are a tax on people who are bad at math.

The usual comment from folks with no originality. And as has been pointed out millions of time, it's wrong anyway. Your statement applies to folks who buy a ticket as an investment, not as entertainment.


The usual comment from folks to defend their habit. And as has been pointed out millions of times, it's correct. Your statement applies to folks who read Fark as an advice column, not as entertainment.
 
2012-03-30 11:01:41 AM  
It cracks me up that in Texas you can buy beer, smokes or chewing tobacco with your credit card, but not lotto tickets.

Wouldn't want to encourage bad behavior.
 
2012-03-30 11:01:47 AM  
I won $150 a few weeks ago so I'm ahead for the year. I'll drop a sawbuck for some tix today.
 
2012-03-30 11:01:54 AM  

Mugato: "Somebody's got to win"

I'm willfully ignorant about the lottery but doesn't the larger the jackpot mean more people buy tickets meaning you have even less chance of winning than usual?


Not neccisarily, but you may need to share the jackpot with those who happen to have the same winning numbers, as you/
 
2012-03-30 11:02:51 AM  

GoodyearPimp: There's always one. Would you rather there be a "tax on people who are bad at math" or a "tax on you"? Because the things the lottery proceeds funds will be paid for somehow.


The stupid tax doesn't bother me in my state, even though its benefits paid out (to college scholarships and the public schools) are an embarrassingly small portion of the total proceeds after prizes. I like that it penalizes stupid people to benefit smart ones because I'm sort of an elitist, but it is a very inefficient way of raising money for that reason.

That being said, I bought my first-ever lotto ticket in the work pool yesterday. Like many have said, it is interesting to daydream about what I'd do with the winnings and if college trust funds for my kids, nephews and nieces carry any sort of tax benefits. For a buck, hey why not, and I certainly didn't want to be THAT GUY that didn't participate.
 
2012-03-30 11:04:41 AM  
I'm too lazy to look it up... but what's the lump sum option dollar value?
 
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