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(WTOP)   Here it is, your semi-regular "don't bother trying for that $425 million Powerball jackpot because even if you do win, you'll probably have to split the pot with 3 or 4 other people and pay taxes on it, too," article   ( wtop.com) divider line
    More: Stupid, Powerball, mess, University of Akron, semi-trailer trucks, Powerball jackpot, car chase, Mega Millions, ConAgra  
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3976 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Nov 2012 at 2:40 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

Voting Results (Funniest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2012-11-27 07:23:07 AM  
3 votes:
In Canada, there's no tax on lottery winnings....
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2012-11-26 11:56:51 PM  
3 votes:
You mean I might only end up with something like $30million if I win? WELL FORGET IT THEN! Obviously not worth the effort.

2012-11-27 07:39:14 AM  
2 votes:

mamoru: You mean I might only end up with something like $30million if I win? WELL FORGET IT THEN! Obviously not worth the effort.


Came here to say this.

Anything less than $100,000,000 and I just toss the ticket.
2012-11-27 07:27:19 AM  
2 votes:
If I win the Powerball, I'm going to spend $100,000,000 building a robotic Kate Beckinsale that I can sexually disappoint.
2012-11-27 08:38:28 AM  
1 vote:
If one million is enough to make two chicks at the same time happen then this should make 278 at the same time possible, with enough left over for the incription on the tombstone, " He died doing what he loved to do "
2012-11-27 07:10:34 AM  
1 vote:
I buy one ticket when it goes over 200 million.
Drew would have to make a new tag just for me.
2012-11-27 06:23:11 AM  
1 vote:

Bippal: Man, all these people, in all of these threads, saying that anyone who buys a lottery ticket is paying the stupid, or poor person tax. They must never, ever, do something that another person wouldn't do with money.

amazing, no? if you knew how much i tossed on smokes, alcohol, drugs, pussy, snacks and items i bought that i really didn't need to get by in life....OMG man, you would burst out crying. ha! i forgot about stupid hobbies and collections that what the hell ever happened to them? oh the list goes on and on.
2012-11-27 06:11:02 AM  
1 vote:

Vegaz73: The powerball website says $278.3m cash out.

Even after Uncle Obama and AZ take their money, I'd still be left quite happy. I figured a few years ago that I would need only $30m to live ez all my life. I'll donate a ton too.

Everyone says that. Than in a year or two, you find yourself buying new cars for strippers on a weekly basis. And a year or two after that, your bankrupt, the skanks have left, and you have a $1,000 dollar a day coke habit that you can no longer afford to feed.

The only question is if you eat a bullet, or you end up in prison for robbing and killing your ex-dealer.

The bottom line is that very few people can handle this kind of money responsibly. Luckily, I'm one of those people, so I'm playing. You on the other hand would only end up miserable; do yourself a favor and don't buy a ticket.
2012-11-27 05:57:12 AM  
1 vote:
Or $2. Shows you how much I play.
2012-11-27 05:20:04 AM  
1 vote:
Well that does it, I'm not playing. The one thing I learned from fiscal conservatives is that being rich isn't worth it if you have to pay any taxes on it and I am better off getting free stuff like welfare and food stamps.
2012-11-27 02:58:33 AM  
1 vote:
If I spend $3 on a ticket, win $400 million, split it 8 ways, and end up paying $4,999,996 in taxes, I still come out with a $1 profit! So, Win! And I do not mind buying two tickets a week, as I would probably spend that money on Coke anyway, so it is all good.
2012-11-27 02:47:50 AM  
1 vote:

brantgoose: Odds of winning 1 in 175 million. Cost of ticket $2.

Step one: buy ALL the tickets (cost: $350,000,000).

Step two: Win, inevitably.

Step three: Pre-tax profit: $425,000,000 minus $350,000,000 in outlay leaves $75,000,000 in pre-tax profits. Even divided by four, this makes $18,750,000 each. Pay about 60% in taxes, remaining after-tax profit: $7,500,000 EACH. A lump sum will be much smaller than this, which is the prize money spread over many smaller payments per year or per month.

Not great but not shabby and, in theory, totally inevitable, a sure thing, safer than houses.

The thing is, that if the prize is big enough, it overwhelms the rather scanty change of winning. As my calculations show, your expectation of winning, even allowing for sharing a winning number with three rivals and even after paying taxes shows an expectaton which makes punting a $2 you can afford to lose on a lottery ticket. Mind you, when the pot is less than $350,000,000, your expectation is not a remote chance of winning, but a near certain change of losing money.

It is not always foolish to buy a lottery ticket. Depends on the odds, the price of the ticket, the prize pot and the chances of sharing the prize and how much you can afford to lose. By being a contrarian's contrarian and playing numbers that other people avoid, you increase your chance of not sharing the prize (therefore avoid birthdays and "lucky numbers" like the plague. Also, only play the lottery when the prize monies are bigger than the cost of every ticket. You'll still lose most of the time, but the odds shift heavily depending on how you play and when.

Play when the pot is big enough to give you a positive expectation.
It is better to put all of your gambling money on one drawing. IN A LIFETIME. Ten tickets in the same drawing is a totally different game from ten tickets in ten drawings.
Box your bets (learn how to do this from a gambler).
Do your math carefully.
Understand the odds.
Be a contrarian.
Never ever be ...


If multiple people win (say 4 people, as per your example,) then you don't get to use the $425 Million to start your calculation. You would instead start with $425 Million / 4 = ~$106.25 Million. After you subtract the cost of buying every ticket, you are deep in the red!!

Your calculation only works if you are the only one holding the winning ticket. Even if you have to share with one other person, then you only "win" $212.5 Million, while paying $350 Million to buy all the tickets, ending up with a massive net loss.

Now, if the jackpot was truly astronomical (say $800 million) then you might be able to afford sharing your jackpot with one other person, but when the jackpots get that high, a LOT of people are buying tickets and there is a very good chance you will have a split pot.

/Best way to win is not to buy a ticket. You keep your money.
//I have been known to buy 1 ticket on occasion, reasoning that the "entertainment value" of fantasizing about what I would do with the winnings is worth the $2. YMMV.
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