MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters · Instagram 
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 46.0° F  Fair
Collapse Photo Bar

Powerball

If it's news, but not politics, then it goes here.

Powerball

Postby Shorty » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:56 am

I like the saying "Lotteries are a tax on the stupid". I never play them at laugh at those who do. However, a $400 million jackpot is something to think about. How much will you spend on tickets?
Shorty
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1555
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2003 12:53 pm

Re: Powerball

Postby bdog » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:16 am

Once it gets that big it's no longer stupid?

To me it's no different than any other form of fleeting entertainment. Until you look at your numbers there's always the possibility you won. I play only when it gets huge and I don't look at my numbers for several days afterwards, to keep the hope alive.

Even if I know someone in another State won the big prize, there's always a chance I won something significant.

I didn't get any last night because I didn't feel like going out in the cold. Will probably get $10 worth for Wednesday.
bdog
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3242
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:26 am

Re: Powerball

Postby Steve Vokers » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:52 am

I understand the odds are slim, so I rarely play.

But $425 million is $425 million, so I'll probably ignore the part of my brain that is telling me it's a sucker's bet and buy $10 in tickets.
Steve Vokers
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1120
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 11:58 am

Re: Powerball

Postby rabble » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:27 am

In tech school our math and stats teacher told us he played the lottery. We were puzzled. He said his friends asked him if he understood the odds of winning, and he'd say yeah. My odds are thousands of times better than yours.

He said, in our lives every day, things happen that had an infinitesimal chance of ever happening, but they happened. So he bought a lottery ticket every week because he knew that unlikely does not mean impossible but zero chance is always zero.

I still don't buy lottery tickets but I thought his reasoning was interesting.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6150
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Powerball

Postby snoqueen » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:19 pm

I have never played and don't follow the lottery, but my reasons aren't something I'm proud of.

It's not that it preys on the uneducated and poor. It's not that the odds are so bad.

It's because I think money is not something to play with. Money is serious, and should not be flushed just to watch it go down, or shredded to make confetti. It is to be used for Good Purposes.

I don't really place a judgment on people who play, though. When I see them at the gas station buying their tickets, it's more like I'm watching someone buy cigarettes. I can't figure out why they do it and I assume it's some kind of personal misery reaching out for temporary relief.

Now, I know this is humorless, Puritan, and slightly pompous, but I am what I am. I can't help myself. I'd sooner take fistfuls of dollars and light them on fire than play the lottery.

You are welcome to make fun of this as you please. I can be humorless, but I'm not humorless about being humorless.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11494
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: Powerball

Postby gargantua » Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:51 pm

I play, spending 10 bucks a week. I did not realize I was assuaging some form of personal misery by doing so. I thought it was because I wouldn't mind being very wealthy, and the infinitesimal chance I'm buying in the lottery exceeds the zero chance I'd have otherwise.

I'm not poor, and I'm pretty thrifty in most other respects. I see it as harmless entertainment....and you never know. I did win $500 a few years ago, beating 27,404 to 1 odds. Still down over the course of the years though.
gargantua
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4098
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2002 1:30 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Powerball

Postby bdog » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:53 pm

rabble wrote:He said, in our lives every day, things happen that had an infinitesimal chance of ever happening, but they happened. So he bought a lottery ticket every week because he knew that unlikely does not mean impossible but zero chance is always zero.

I think many great things would never have happened if the people that did them had taken well meaning advice and followed the odds.

Becoming President, making a living off music, or sports...forget about it! Better odds to become an accountant.
bdog
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3242
Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:26 am

Re: Powerball

Postby Detritus » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:34 pm

rabble wrote:In tech school our math and stats teacher told us he played the lottery.

Then he did so in spite of the irrationality of that act. I'm going to hazard the guess that he never won anything more than an occasional small payout. According to the powerball site, the odds of winning $4 back with a $2 bet right now are 1 in 55, enough to encourage you to try again (and again (and again)). The odds of winning the whole shebang in a given draw: 1 in 175,223,510. You have better odds of being struck by lightning this year (1 in 1,000,000), and given that 10% of people struck by lightning die--well, I'll let you figure out how much more likely you are to be killed by a lightning strike this year than to win the jackpot.
Detritus
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2385
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: Powerball

Postby rabble » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:05 am

I'm going to hazard the guess that you didn't read the rest of my post.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6150
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Powerball

Postby talagaster » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:53 am

When I buy a lottery ticket, I just think of the me in some quantum reality that actually wins. With infinite branching universes emerging from every possibility, at least one version of myself will soon have to worry about capital gains tax.
talagaster
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:20 pm

Re: Powerball

Postby narcoleptish » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:18 am

For me to play the lottery I have to first have the idea that I should buy a ticket, and it has to be immediately possible to do it, like if I'm walking into a gas station. It's so rare that those two things happen together that I always think it's fate and I buy some. I was in line at a grocery store up north on Saturday and the guy ahead of me was talking about the big pot and buying tickets, so I bought 3. It's the price of 1 beer+tip at a bar. I matched the powerball and got 66% back, so if I find myself with the ticket, at a lottery outlet, before Wednesday night, I'll buy 2 more. Not good chances but maybe I should try?

I'm fascinated by how many lottery winners end up broke or miserable or both. I read a recent story about some average Joe who won a good sized one, probably the powerball. He said the first thing he did was tell all his relatives to quit their jobs. He added, "they didn't have a problem with that." I'm betting he's headed for the aforementioned group.
narcoleptish
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3627
Joined: Mon Mar 14, 2005 1:35 am

Re: Powerball

Postby Ned Flanders » Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:54 am

Sure, I'll play at this level. And the winnings should be tax-free since the lottery is basically a big gov't haul to begin with...
Ned Flanders
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 13272
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2001 2:48 pm

Re: Powerball

Postby Detritus » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:08 am

rabble wrote:I'm going to hazard the guess that you didn't read the rest of my post.

Not quoting all of it does not equal not reading all of it.
Detritus
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2385
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: Powerball

Postby Mean Scenester » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:25 am

Ned Flanders wrote:Sure, I'll play at this level. And the winnings should be tax-free since the lottery is basically a big gov't haul to begin with...

Well, they're not ... duh. You could express your disdain by not playing, but I guess it would be more in keeping with the Nedigma we all know so well for you to both participate and bitch about it if you win.

So like a Republican to get a pile of money for doing almost nothing and then begrudge Sam his percentage. The heart, it bleeds.
Mean Scenester
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1301
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:56 pm

Re: Powerball

Postby jjoyce » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:01 pm

Wisconsin's involvement in the lottery AND dog racing (world's sleaziest "sport"!) happened under Tommy G. Thompson, by the way.

"What's Tammy going to say next, that I'm a Bears fan?"
jjoyce
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 12168
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:48 pm
Location: Madison, WI

Next

Return to Headlines

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar