Friday, February 24, 2006

I share my shame with you

These days, Mike McIntee at the Wahoo Gazette makes me laugh more than his boss does.
My advice to any one of the 8 lucky winners of the $365 million Powerball Lottery—put your money in the bank and don't do anything with it for one year. After a year, take a look at the mistakes the other 7 winners made in the past 12 months, then act accordingly.
I am ashamed to admit that I hate lottery winners. Part of it is sheer jealousy and avarice, feelings I'm not proud of but have come to terms with.

But you know, the way lotteries are set up, they exploit the fact that people like to brag when they win and pretty much clam up when they lose. That creates the impression that more people are winning than really do. You'll hear a lot about exactly how much those winners will receive, but reports say they've been buying tickets for years, and nobody's going to bother adding up how much they lost during all that time.

I'm not sure what I'm driving at here, but I spent five dollars on Powerball tickets a couple of weeks ago, with five random sets of numbers, and I was amazed when I got ZERO matches. Not a single number came up. I think that's got to be some kind of illustration of the kind of odds you're up against.

And considering that the latest jackpot was the highest in history, it looks like the odds aren't improving any over time.


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