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But Utah wins because of the extra Degree of Difficulty points because we have to drive to Idaho.

tricycleracer

With nothing to lose, I'd open a restaurant and poach the best talent in the country.

I'm not a big fan of poached talent. Can you put oven-roasted talent on the menu?

I find it hard to think about how much money it really is. For instance, let's just say for the sake of entertaining the fantasy, that as you left college and some company payed you a starting salary of six figures. With no pay increases over your working lifetime, you've "only" made about 4.7 million dollars if you retire at 65. Remember, that's the gross of what you've made.

Your lifetime earnings are less than 1% of the jackpot and ~2% of the payout.

"Florida ranks third in overall lottery-ticket sales, with more than \$4 billion per year, behind New York (\$7 billion) and Massachusetts (\$4.8 billion). Both of those states also offer MegaMillions."

H31N0US: Tommy Moo: I don't understand why more people play powerball when it gets above \$300 million.

Assume your odds of winning are 1 in 150,000,000. Assume as well that that the after tax lump sum winnings for a given drawing are \$149,999,999. You should not play, because the value of that ticket E= expected return is the odds of winning times the payput, so \$149,999,999/150,000,000 which is less than the \$1 you would pay for the ticket. If the payout is greater than \$150,000,000 then you should play.

I'm not sure what the odds are or after tax lump payout is for a \$500M Powerball, so I don't know if a ticket is intrinsically worth more or less than the \$2 they're asking.

This is a simplified example that doesn't factor the odds of multiple winners into the value of that ticket.

Of course this doesn't consider the simple pleasure that hope provides while you ponder how you are going to tell your boss to piss off. For a couple bucks, who cares? It's only a tax on those who are bad at math if some dope at a hedge fund wanted to buy all possible combinations for \$150M when the payout is guaranteed to be less than \$150M. Of course some one that stupid would not be hired by a hedge fund.

These kinds of pot odds calculations work in poker, where sensible amounts of money are at stake, but they don't take into account the law of diminishing returns. When you're talking millions, the first million is worth way more to you than the second million. And the added value of millions number 76, 93, and 114 become vanishingly small. Basically, you never have pot odds to play the lottery.

snocone: SoupJohnB: A fool and his money, etc.

/still holding out for Publisher's Clearinghouse

Get Forever stamps.

Methinks is just a shill for the USPS.

I do purchase them, although about the only things I mail now are Christmas and birthday cards. One book of stamps lasts about a year.

/still old-fashioned that way

someguy945: Everyone criticizing gullible lottery players has never gambled at a casino, not even for fun, right? Right?

Or picked up the check on a first date.

The odds are astronomical, but a Floridian has the best chance of winning Wednesday's Powerball jackpot of approximately \$500 million.

That's because we're No. 1 in Powerball ticket sales. Lottery officials note that since the game began its dry spell on Oct. 3, Florida players have bought \$83 million worth of tickets. That's more than anywhere else in the country.

Does this idiot even know what "probability" means?

how much to buy every possible combination?

DubyaHater: I played Powerball for the first time today. I had a break during work, walked down to the local 7-11 bought a ticket. If I win, I'm gonna post pictures of the all the hookers I buy on my myFark account. They'll all be leaning against my new Ferrari.
/With my luck, I'll be struck by lightning on the way to collect my winnings

I remember seeing somewhere recently that you have greater odds of dying in a car crash driving to and from wherever you buy your tickets than you do of winning the jackpot. But you walked, so you're good.

snocone: I, for one, am just thrilled at the thought of all that nice jucey Tax Money.
The Fed wins EVERY Lottery!

Could we have more lottery Tax and jump The Cliff?

Gooby, pls.

Tommy Moo: These kinds of pot odds calculations work in poker, where sensible amounts of money are at stake, but they don't take into account the law of diminishing returns. When you're talking millions, the first million is worth way more to you than the second million. And the added value of millions number 76, 93, and 114 become vanishingly small. Basically, you never have pot odds to play the lottery.

I'm with you. Which is why I'll sometimes buy a ticket when the payout dictates an intrinsic value much less than \$1.

Why? I know my odds are the same (somewhere between zero and approximately zero), and I don't need more than a few \$million to be able to change lifestyles away from commuting into NYC and working middle management for a soul crushing family held pseudo-public mega corporation. I'm not a whiz but also not particularly bad at math: aced 4 semesters each of calc and stochastics at decent schools.

To me that means that the ticket has more value in the marketplace than that implied by pure math.

stonelotus: "Florida ranks third in overall lottery-ticket sales, with more than \$4 billion per year, behind New York (\$7 billion) and Massachusetts (\$4.8 billion). Both of those states also offer MegaMillions."

Anybody else surprised to see Massachusetts, the best educated state in the Union, coming in #2 in stupid-tax sales?

madgonad: stonelotus: "Florida ranks third in overall lottery-ticket sales, with more than \$4 billion per year, behind New York (\$7 billion) and Massachusetts (\$4.8 billion). Both of those states also offer MegaMillions."

Anybody else surprised to see Massachusetts, the best educated state in the Union, coming in #2 in stupid-tax sales?

They need the jackpot just to pay their state taxes.

madgonad: stonelotus: "Florida ranks third in overall lottery-ticket sales, with more than \$4 billion per year, behind New York (\$7 billion) and Massachusetts (\$4.8 billion). Both of those states also offer MegaMillions."

Anybody else surprised to see Massachusetts, the best educated state in the Union, coming in #2 in stupid-tax sales?

They are smart enough to know that it's their best shot at getting the hell out of Massachusetts, I guess.

madgonad: stonelotus: "Florida ranks third in overall lottery-ticket sales, with more than \$4 billion per year, behind New York (\$7 billion) and Massachusetts (\$4.8 billion). Both of those states also offer MegaMillions."

Anybody else surprised to see Massachusetts, the best educated state in the Union, coming in #2 in stupid-tax sales?

Seriously (I know I am replying to myself) \$4B/year is about \$740 for every man, woman, and child in the state. Maybe there is some cross-border action with a neighbor state coming over to buy millions of tickets?

tricycleracer: madgonad: stonelotus: "Florida ranks third in overall lottery-ticket sales, with more than \$4 billion per year, behind New York (\$7 billion) and Massachusetts (\$4.8 billion). Both of those states also offer MegaMillions."

Anybody else surprised to see Massachusetts, the best educated state in the Union, coming in #2 in stupid-tax sales?

They need the jackpot just to pay their state taxes.

That is a misnomer. MA income taxes are 5.3% and sales taxes are ~6% for the state. That barely puts them in the top half of state tax rates. The Taxxachusetts myth came from the willingness of their Federal reps/senators to raise taxes on the Federal level instead of borrowing.

Anonymocoso: But Utah wins because of the extra Degree of Difficulty points because we have to drive to Idaho.

Damn straight, there was nothing but Utards in Malad yesterday.
oh, and some Russians buying every scratch off in the store for some reason.
I think they should just run the train up there.

Tommy Moo: I don't understand why more people play powerball when it gets above \$300 million. Do people not realize that \$500 million and \$100 million are exactly the same amount of money? Both are more than you can possibly spend in your entire life. The most expensive house you could ever possibly want is somewhere around \$20 million. You then have enough left over to spend \$3000 every day for the rest of your life. I couldn't do that if I tried.

yeah but what if you want special pants??

madgonad: tricycleracer: madgonad: stonelotus: "Florida ranks third in overall lottery-ticket sales, with more than \$4 billion per year, behind New York (\$7 billion) and Massachusetts (\$4.8 billion). Both of those states also offer MegaMillions."

Anybody else surprised to see Massachusetts, the best educated state in the Union, coming in #2 in stupid-tax sales?

They need the jackpot just to pay their state taxes.

That is a misnomer. MA income taxes are 5.3% and sales taxes are ~6% for the state. That barely puts them in the top half of state tax rates. The Taxxachusetts myth came from the willingness of their Federal reps/senators to raise taxes on the Federal level instead of borrowing.

The Taxachusetts name was not a myth in the 1970s (when the nickname originated), when commonwealth and local taxes as a percentage of total income was near the highest in the country. This is not the case now, as you correctly note -- MA is actually below the national average in this statistic -- but the name was not spun out of whole cloth, and it never had to do with federal taxation.

if i won...i'd buy World of Warcaft subscription for the next 20 years and buy every mount and companion in the Blizzard store. Then I'd upgrade my computer to the max and get a 42 inch LCD to play it on and then...

hmm... i'm screwed.

/probably be dead within the year.
//part of the 70%

Well they did end up voting for Obama.

The mostest, head-hurting in America, headline which will makes my brains hurts. Subby must, lives in, FLori-duh!!

madgonad: Anybody else surprised to see Massachusetts, the best educated state in the Union, coming in #2 in stupid-tax sales?

Disposable income maybe? It's one of the richest states in the country, even on the low end. It's also got a lot of blue collar derp.

madgonad: Seriously (I know I am replying to myself) \$4B/year is about \$740 for every man, woman, and child in the state. Maybe there is some cross-border action with a neighbor state coming over to buy millions of tickets?

That is staggering. Even if only half of the tickets were resident purchases, that is \$370/head! What the literal f*ck is that all about? My state of fools (SC) only spends \$244/head on the lottery.

themasterdebater: if i won...i'd buy World of Warcaft subscription for the next 20 years and buy every mount and companion in the Blizzard store. Then I'd upgrade my computer to the max and get a 42 inch LCD to play it on and then...

hmm... i'm screwed.

/probably be dead within the year.
//part of the 70%

Brubold: Smeggy Smurf: Brubold: KungFuJunkie: ChrisDe: They all hope to win, retire and live near the ocean.

I hope to win and donate \$250k to a new charity...each week...for the rest of my life...and kids lives...

Yeah even with taxes and the hit you take for the cash option I still think you'd end up somewhere between \$250-300 million. I'd keep just enough to be comfortable in a upper middle class lifestyle for the rest of my life, give some to friends and family, but the bulk would go to some good charities.

Bad idea. You're going to need something to do. Don't give the money away to somebody else. Go to college, learn how to run a charity and then do it for the next 30-40 years. You'll be happier and know exactly where the money went.

I've been dabbling with pottery for a few years. I'd buy myself a little place with a kiln or two and spend my time doing that.

Then you could use that in conjunction with working with kids in jail or other screwed up kids to try to give them something positive. Pottery for Parolees. Preparing Parolees for the Public.

Take only the kids that can be saved. The rest can rot in hell. It's a good way to spend the money.

Yes, if you're homeless and hungry and you buy a ticket you are a delusional moran.

But if you make a comfortable living or better, this is no different than buying imported beer or ordering two appetizers because they both sound good. It's simply how you "play" with your "fun" money.

Fail to see the subby on account of the extremely high horse he has perched upon.

FOOL meet MONEY
You will both be soon parted.

ChrisDe: They all hope to win, retire and live near the ocean.

Buying a ticket and dreaming about the next-to-impossible outcome is always the allure. But a half-billion dollars... is enough to give one pause.

That's serious money, in any game. Even with the lump-sum payment and capital gains taxes backed out... you'd still be a global player.

That's almost intimidating, even for a fantasy.

stonelotus: "Florida ranks third in overall lottery-ticket sales, with more than \$4 billion per year, behind New York (\$7 billion) and Massachusetts (\$4.8 billion). Both of those states also offer MegaMillions."

Florida is the fourth most populous state, NY is the third. Something odd is going on in Massachusetts (#14).

Wait wasn't there several betting pools from MIT or something that would spend millions? And the state lotto supported it. That may account for some of the spending.

Guns n' Farkin Roses: When I win, TOTAL FARK FOR EVERYONE!

Is that a threat?

Of course I'm not going to win it, and neither are you(all of you). But a few days of fantasy once every couple of years is pretty fun.

Well worth my hundred bucks.

/set up a string of "small" trusts to provide me and my siblings plenty of income at a level you can wrap your mind around(under 1m/year)
//build my castle house on about 100 forested acres not in Ohio, set up small trust to permanently provide grounds keeping, utilities and taxes in perpetuity
///can't wait to start my religion crushing superPAC and drive the Abrahamic religions from our sovereign shores with fire.
////still leaving me more than 50% probably to spend on charities and Christ destroying for personal fun.

someguy945: Everyone criticizing gullible lottery players has never gambled at a casino, not even for fun, right? Right?

Outside of Keno (which is basically the Casino's lottery) all Casino games have much lower takes than the average lottery a 10% is pretty high (some craps bets, double 0 roulette, and really poor strategy blackjack). Most of the popular casino games run 2-6% takes, vs 30-50% house cut for just about every lottery game.

Why do I always get stuck behind that person at the gas station buying 6 different scratchers tickets, state lottery, PowerBall, Mega Millions, the morning Daily Pick, the afternoon Daily Pick, the evening Daily Pick and Keno?

Why? Why? Why?

Wikipedia says the odds to win are about 1 in 170 million, so there are 170 million possible jackpot combos. Each combo will cost you \$2, so for \$340 million you can guarantee a win, but there are a few issues:

0. You don't have \$340 million.
1. If there is more than one winner, your winnings plummet rapidly. Even just 1 other winner and you're at a huge loss.
2. Does this particular lottery game allow you to select the numbers you want? I know some games don't.
3a. Taxes + lump sum penalty puts you at a net loss
3b. For the annuity option, taxes + opportunity cost of not tying up the \$340 million in a different investment puts you at a net loss.

Thorazine: MindStalker: Tommy Moo: I don't understand why more people play powerball when it gets above \$300 million. Do people not realize that \$500 million and \$100 million are exactly the same amount of money? Both are more than you can possibly spend in your entire life. The most expensive house you could ever possibly want is somewhere around \$20 million. You then have enough left over to spend \$3000 every day for the rest of your life. I couldn't do that if I tried.

Well technically as your odds are winning are greater than the total cost of buying all the tickets. Its worth it... If you can buy 175 million tickets.
That said, if they also increased the payouts to the lower prizes when the jackpot got big, I might just play, but all of their payouts are ridiculously low, \$100 for a 1/50,000 chance or so. Blah

No. Even if you were the only winner, you've covered the spread with 350million dollars for a cash payout of ~270million. Remember PowerBall is \$2/ticket. Even if it was MegaMillions, covering the spread is still a bet on you are the only winner. I'm fairly positive the chance of multiple winners at this point is upwards of 50%.

I'm not sure it would be 50% yet. Last night they announced that with the number of tickets sold there was a 60% chance of a winner. So I would put the odds of multiple winners at a much lower number. Of course the percentages will rise with the additional tickets sold today.

nelsonal: someguy945: Everyone criticizing gullible lottery players has never gambled at a casino, not even for fun, right? Right?

Outside of Keno (which is basically the Casino's lottery) all Casino games have much lower takes than the average lottery a 10% is pretty high (some craps bets, double 0 roulette, and really poor strategy blackjack). Most of the popular casino games run 2-6% takes, vs 30-50% house cut for just about every lottery game.

What's your point? They take your money more slowly, so you get more entertainment at a casino before they eventually bleed you dry?

Maybe someone finds casinos boring and holding a lottery ticket very exciting.

mjohnson71: Why do I always get stuck behind that person at the gas station buying 6 different scratchers tickets, state lottery, PowerBall, Mega Millions, the morning Daily Pick, the afternoon Daily Pick, the evening Daily Pick and Keno?

Why? Why? Why?

Because you were mean to that kid in elementary school.

/lotsa high horses up in the b*tch. I strained my neck looking up at y'all.

mjohnson71: Why do I always get stuck behind that person at the gas station buying 6 different scratchers tickets, state lottery, PowerBall, Mega Millions, the morning Daily Pick, the afternoon Daily Pick, the evening Daily Pick and Keno?

Why? Why? Why?

I got stuck behind the moron who wanted one quick pick for the Powerball then biatched that he didn't like the numbers he got.

Iceman_Cometh: mjohnson71: Why do I always get stuck behind that person at the gas station buying 6 different scratchers tickets, state lottery, PowerBall, Mega Millions, the morning Daily Pick, the afternoon Daily Pick, the evening Daily Pick and Keno?

Why? Why? Why?

I got stuck behind the moron who wanted one quick pick for the Powerball then biatched that he didn't like the numbers he got.

"Hey cashier-lady! These number ain't random enough!"

Found out a couple of weeks ago an old friend of me and my hubby's won a million bucks in the Florida lottery earlier this year. So I'm getting a kick...

Rvalldrgg: Kinda off topic, but still with all this lottery mumbo-jumbo, wouldn't there be a point where you'd be guaranteed to win the lottery if the jackpot was high enough (to make profit) and if you bought enough tickets? Isn't the overall odds 1 in 176 Million or something? So 176M (exactly for easy maths) x \$3 (price of ticket, or mine at least) would be \$528M, which you'd have to make back that amount after taxes, so how high would that jackpot have to be before taxes? Nearly a billion dollars?

The problem with that approach in the big games is splitting the pot. If, for example, the prize is 190 million and you buy every combination for 175 million, you come out ahead by 15 million -- IF NO ONE ELSE WINS. If you split with someone, you lose big.

There have been cases where that strategy worked very well for groups of smart people, but in those cases they were playing smaller games (not the big Powerball and MegaMillions) and those games had very very stupid rules for the house. (IIRC the rules in the case I was thinking about guaranteed fixed payouts per ticket if the pot was big enough. Not all the math ignorance is in the customers.)

snocone: I, for one, am just thrilled at the thought of all that nice jucey Tax Money.

And I am thrilled that public education might improve.

Wellon Dowd: Wellon Dowd: Rvalldrgg: Kinda off topic, but still with all this lottery mumbo-jumbo, wouldn't there be a point where you'd be guaranteed to win the lottery if the jackpot was high enough (to make profit) and if you bought enough tickets? Isn't the overall odds 1 in 176 Million or something? So 176M (exactly for easy maths) x \$3 (price of ticket, or mine at least) would be \$528M, which you'd have to make back that amount after taxes, so how high would that jackpot have to be before taxes? Nearly a billion dollars?

Back when Virginia ran its own game with only 44 balls an investor syndicate tried to do that. They ran out of time to cover all the numbers but I think they might have won anyway. The state lottery made certain rule changes to discourage such activity in the future.

Another problem with that strategy is possibly having to share the prize.

Thorazine: Rvalldrgg: Kinda off topic, but still with all this lottery mumbo-jumbo, wouldn't there be a point where you'd be guaranteed to win the lottery if the jackpot was high enough (to make profit) and if you bought enough tickets? Isn't the overall odds 1 in 176 Million or something? So 176M (exactly for easy maths) x \$3 (price of ticket, or mine at least) would be \$528M, which you'd have to make back that amount after taxes, so how high would that jackpot have to be before taxes? Nearly a billion dollars?

The problem with covering the spread is that you are assuming you are the only winner. I'm pretty sure as ticket sales go up, the probability of multiple winners also does, significantly. I'll bet that the odds of at least one winner is close to 85% at this point. So it would be tough to get the cash prize at the values to give a significant return on the investment.

Even if you could cover the spread, how would you go about procuring the 176 million tickets?

MycroftHolmes: Rvalldrgg: Kinda off topic, but still with all this lottery mumbo-jumbo, wouldn't there be a point where you'd be guaranteed to win the lottery if the jackpot was high enough (to make profit) and if you bought enough tickets? Isn't the overall odds 1 in 176 Million or something? So 176M (exactly for easy maths) x \$3 (price of ticket, or mine at least) would be \$528M, which you'd have to make back that amount after taxes, so how high would that jackpot have to be before taxes? Nearly a billion dollars?

You aren't accounting for duplicate winners. If your take gets split two or three ways, you lose money.

Just saying for instance if somehow you're the only buyer (zombie apocalypse or something).

Jubeebee: DubyaHater: I played Powerball for the first time today. I had a break during work, walked down to the local 7-11 bought a ticket. If I win, I'm gonna post pictures of the all the hookers I buy on my myFark account. They'll all be leaning against my new Ferrari.
/With my luck, I'll be struck by lightning on the way to collect my winnings

I remember seeing somewhere recently that you have greater odds of dying in a car crash driving to and from wherever you buy your tickets than you do of winning the jackpot. But you walked, so you're good.

How about taking the bus? Any info? And what is the time-frame for all this? Got any news for this? Before I leave would be splendid!

Daniels: Tommy Moo: I don't understand why more people play powerball when it gets above \$300 million. Do people not realize that \$500 million and \$100 million are exactly the same amount of money? Both are more than you can possibly spend in your entire life. The most expensive house you could ever possibly want is somewhere around \$20 million. You then have enough left over to spend \$3000 every day for the rest of your life. I couldn't do that if I tried.

Over \$175 million it becomes a "good" bet because the payout becomes greater than the odds of winning.

\$2/ ticket. You meant \$350M

someguy945: Everyone criticizing gullible lottery players has never gambled at a casino, not even for fun, right? Right?

I don't buy lottery tickets and I actually don't gamble at casinos either. However, for some casino games your odds are WAY BETTER than the lottery. I'm talking about Craps, Blackjack, and Video Poker. Also, if you are playing for fun then who cares.

I don't really give two craps about what people wanna do with their money for fun. If you enjoy playing Powerball, go for it! I don't do it.I think most people realize it is fun to think/talk about what they'd do if they win, although their chances are very close to 0.

Yes, I think the people who tell me they have a "system" or a method of being "lucky" for any of these games are silly. Unless it is actually playing the normal 'rules' and knowing what your odds are. I had a chick describe in detail her method of playing slots the other day. She pulled three times on a machine and then moved to another one and always making the minimum bet on the minimum machine.

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