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Lottery
 Posted: 17 December 2013 10:01 PM [ Ignore ]
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Something just occurred to me because of the big lottery going on right now.  The odds never affect the winner of a lottery. It doesn’t matter if the odds were a billion to 1. I’m not saying it wouldn’t matter in the winner’s mind, because he won.  The odds never matter to the winner, in fact. He would have won no matter what the odds were against him.

So maybe we should all buy at least one ticket.

I didn’t, however (sigh). I could have been the one the odds don’t matter to.

Lois

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 Posted: 17 December 2013 10:41 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Oh, s**t. I forgot to buy lottery tickets. Oh well. That’s \$5 I have toward my next six pack of ale.

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 Posted: 18 December 2013 04:47 AM [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Lois - 17 December 2013 10:01 PM

Something just occurred to me because of the big lottery going on right now.  The odds never affect the winner of a lottery. It doesn’t matter if the odds were a billion to 1. I’m not saying it wouldn’t matter in the winner’s mind, because he won.  The odds never matter to the winner, in fact. He would have won no matter what the odds were against him.

So maybe we should all buy at least one ticket.

I didn’t, however (sigh). I could have been the one the odds don’t matter to.

Lois

” He would have won no matter what the odds were against him.”  That’s only true if you believe in determinism Lois in which case the person never had a choice about buying a lottery ticket anyway and neither do we. Which means I can stop kicking myself for spending \$5 on a useless lottery ticket that didn’t win squat since I didn’t have a choice in the matter

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 Posted: 18 December 2013 10:38 AM [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I never buy lottery tickets, but if one does, the procedure should be to wait until the last minute, divide the prize by the number of tickets sold and if the result is greater than the ticket purchase price, buy one.  If there are multiple prized then it gets more complex.

The worst gift I ever got was a birthday card with a lottery ticket in it.

Occam

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 Posted: 18 December 2013 12:54 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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macgyver - 18 December 2013 04:47 AM
Lois - 17 December 2013 10:01 PM

Something just occurred to me because of the big lottery going on right now.  The odds never affect the winner of a lottery. It doesn’t matter if the odds were a billion to 1. I’m not saying it wouldn’t matter in the winner’s mind, because he won.  The odds never matter to the winner, in fact. He would have won no matter what the odds were against him.

So maybe we should all buy at least one ticket.

I didn’t, however (sigh). I could have been the one the odds don’t matter to.

Lois

” He would have won no matter what the odds were against him.”  That’s only true if you believe in determinism Lois in which case the person never had a choice about buying a lottery ticket anyway and neither do we. Which means I can stop kicking myself for spending \$5 on a useless lottery ticket that didn’t win squat since I didn’t have a choice in the matter

That’s also right. But it doesn’t affect the odds.

Lois

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 Posted: 18 December 2013 01:02 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Occam. - 18 December 2013 10:38 AM

I never buy lottery tickets, but if one does, the procedure should be to wait until the last minute, divide the prize by the number of tickets sold and if the result is greater than the ticket purchase price, buy one.  If there are multiple prized then it gets more complex.

The worst gift I ever got was a birthday card with a lottery ticket in it.

Occam

Would you think that if the ticket had won? Especially big bucks. Would the person who gave it to you expect a cut?

Actually, I think it’s pretty creative. It’s a handy token gift,  it doesn’t cost much, doesn’t cost anything extra in postage or shipping and it could wind up being spectacular.

I might give out lottery tickets sometime.

Lois

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 Posted: 18 December 2013 02:16 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I throw at most \$2 a week at them, usually only when the prize is \$40million+.

I know my chances of winning are close to zero. But, it could happen…

(BTW: No one in our household is going without anything either because of my ‘lottery habit’. )

Take care,

Derek

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 Posted: 18 December 2013 03:25 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Lotteries are a waste of time and money, from anyone’s perspective except for those raking in the cash from gullible people.

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 Posted: 18 December 2013 06:48 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 18 December 2013 03:25 PM

Lotteries are a waste of time and money, from anyone’s perspective except for those raking in the cash from gullible people.

From a financial standpoint you are 100%b correct but there is a bit of a thrill in thinking you might be able to win and thats worth something. Its no different than paying admission to an amusement park in that sense.

I am too much of a sore loser to play the lottery often but once or twice a year when its \$400 million I cough up \$2 and buy a ticket just for the thrill of it. When I lose it takes a long time get over the loss, even a lousy \$2.

The problem I have with the lottery is that the vast majority of people who buy large numbers of lottery tickets are not well off. I often see people in the card store buying an armload of lottery tickets and scratch offs who clearly dont have a lot of extra cash. So we collect millions of dollars from lots of poor people to create one wealthy individual. Its the ultimate regressive tax.

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 Posted: 18 December 2013 08:14 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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macgyver - 18 December 2013 06:48 PM

The problem I have with the lottery is that the vast majority of people who buy large numbers of lottery tickets are not well off. I often see people in the card store buying an armload of lottery tickets and scratch offs who clearly dont have a lot of extra cash. So we collect millions of dollars from lots of poor people to create one wealthy individual. Its the ultimate regressive tax.

I can count the number of lottery tickets I’ve purchased on one hand, precisely for the reasons stated my Macgyver.

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 Posted: 19 December 2013 01:15 AM [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 18 December 2013 03:25 PM

Lotteries are a waste of time and money, from anyone’s perspective except for those raking in the cash from gullible people.

You wouldn’t say that if you won a big one.

\$1 or 2 a week is cheap entertainment for those who like it. You can’t even go to a movie for that.

It can be a source of bad decisions, for example when people spend the rent or food money on lotteries. But nobody is twisting their arm. It’s the decision of the ticket buyer to buy tickets.  I’ve never had anyone who is selling lottery tickets even ask me if I wanted to buy one.  Where’s the exploitation or inducement?  As the saying goes, a guy could just as easily spend his money on booze and women—or he could just waste it.

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 Posted: 19 December 2013 01:27 AM [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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macgyver - 18 December 2013 06:48 PM
TromboneAndrew - 18 December 2013 03:25 PM

Lotteries are a waste of time and money, from anyone’s perspective except for those raking in the cash from gullible people.

From a financial standpoint you are 100%b correct but there is a bit of a thrill in thinking you might be able to win and thats worth something. Its no different than paying admission to an amusement park in that sense.

I am too much of a sore loser to play the lottery often but once or twice a year when its \$400 million I cough up \$2 and buy a ticket just for the thrill of it. When I lose it takes a long time get over the loss, even a lousy \$2.

The problem I have with the lottery is that the vast majority of people who buy large numbers of lottery tickets are not well off. I often see people in the card store buying an armload of lottery tickets and scratch offs who clearly dont have a lot of extra cash. So we collect millions of dollars from lots of poor people to create one wealthy individual. Its the ultimate regressive tax.

But no one’s forcing or even enticing them to buy them. Do you have a similar attitude toward liquor stores, bars, horse race tracks—or any kind of gambling, legal or not? People waste their money on all sorts of things that could be better spent elsewhere—on games., fancy cars, expensive electronics, spectator sports. Should lotteries be singled out as being more wasteful than other entertainments? There isn’t much else you can buy with a dollar or two.

[ Edited: 19 December 2013 01:29 AM by Lois ]
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 Posted: 19 December 2013 06:54 AM [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Lois - 19 December 2013 01:27 AM

But no one’s forcing or even enticing them to buy them. Do you have a similar attitude toward liquor stores, bars, horse race tracks—or any kind of gambling, legal or not? People waste their money on all sorts of things that could be better spent elsewhere—on games., fancy cars, expensive electronics, spectator sports. Should lotteries be singled out as being more wasteful than other entertainments? There isn’t much else you can buy with a dollar or two.

Lois you are correct that ultimately its the fault of the person making the choice. I am all for personal responsibility since it seems to be a rare thing these days. That said the lottery is a bit like alcohol. There are those who can have a single glass of wine at night or 2 beers with friends and consume alcohol responsibly. There are others for whom alcohol is their ruin. Obviously its not the fault of the alcohol nor the store owner who is selling it. Some people just dont have the capacity to drink responsibly and control that impulse.

The lottery is very similar. Most people will spend a few dollars on it as entertainment and it causes them no harm but for others it becomes an addiction like just like alcohol, drugs, and other types of gambling. It tends to follow a pattern of many other bad choices they have made in their lives.

The problem I have with the lottery is that is is promoted and people certainly are “enticed” to buy tickets. In our state there are frequent commercials extolling the extravagant lifestyle that could be yours if you win the lottery. For people who barely live paycheck to paycheck or welfare check to welfare check that can be a tough lure to resist. I think the state cold do a better job of limiting these promotions. Keeping the lottery jackpots smaller might be a good idea too. Fewer people would be enticed to buy tickets ( which is why they wont do it) and wouldn’t we all rather see a thousand people win \$100,000 rather than one person win \$100 million?

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 Posted: 19 December 2013 12:20 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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macgyver - 19 December 2013 06:54 AM
Lois - 19 December 2013 01:27 AM

But no one’s forcing or even enticing them to buy them. Do you have a similar attitude toward liquor stores, bars, horse race tracks—or any kind of gambling, legal or not? People waste their money on all sorts of things that could be better spent elsewhere—on games., fancy cars, expensive electronics, spectator sports. Should lotteries be singled out as being more wasteful than other entertainments? There isn’t much else you can buy with a dollar or two.

Lois you are correct that ultimately its the fault of the person making the choice. I am all for personal responsibility since it seems to be a rare thing these days. That said the lottery is a bit like alcohol. There are those who can have a single glass of wine at night or 2 beers with friends and consume alcohol responsibly. There are others for whom alcohol is their ruin. Obviously its not the fault of the alcohol nor the store owner who is selling it. Some people just dont have the capacity to drink responsibly and control that impulse.

The lottery is very similar. Most people will spend a few dollars on it as entertainment and it causes them no harm but for others it becomes an addiction like just like alcohol, drugs, and other types of gambling. It tends to follow a pattern of many other bad choices they have made in their lives.

The problem I have with the lottery is that is is promoted and people certainly are “enticed” to buy tickets. In our state there are frequent commercials extolling the extravagant lifestyle that could be yours if you win the lottery. For people who barely live paycheck to paycheck or welfare check to welfare check that can be a tough lure to resist. I think the state cold do a better job of limiting these promotions. Keeping the lottery jackpots smaller might be a good idea too. Fewer people would be enticed to buy tickets ( which is why they wont do it) and wouldn’t we all rather see a thousand people win \$100,000 rather than one person win \$100 million?

Sure, but it’s the nature of lotteries to offer a spectacular prize. Anything can be abused.  My point is that there are many worse things than lotteries and there are few moments of pleasure you can buy for a couple of dollars.  The vast majority of people don’t buy more than one or two tickets. Yes, they’re wasteful and all the things you have to say against them are true, but it’s a minor waste. I wouldn’t ban them. People will find other ways to gamble and waste money, legally or illegally. I had an acquaintance years ago who used to play the numbers regularly, illegal and just as wasteful as a lottery. I don’t hear of many people playing the numbers these days or maybe it is more prevalent in New York. Maybe lotteries have put them out of business. It’s an ill wind that blows no good.

Lois

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 Posted: 20 December 2013 07:59 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Speaking of the Lottery,
just yesterday I walked into a gas station and the attendants were laughing over a newspaper and mug shots of four people who got caught trying to pawn jewelry that they’d stolen from another pawn shop in town a few hours earlier in the day.

As added punch line, two of the “suspects” had won a 1/4 million dollar jackpot a couple years back.
They were locals and regular at the place and apparently bought more lottery tickets after their winnings than before.
And are dead broke again.
Weird world, don’t make no sense me

I’m with Darron, just as soon keep my 5 bucks for a six pack of IPA… although now days it’s crawling up to ten bucks…  hmmm, I’m short a couple bucks - hey that scratch ticket is promising “me” . . . . . . .

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 Posted: 20 December 2013 08:06 PM [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 20 December 2013 07:59 PM

I’m with Darron, just as soon keep my 5 bucks for a six pack of IPA… although now days it’s crawling up to ten bucks…  hmmm, I’m short a couple bucks - hey that scratch ticket is promising “me” . . . . . . .

Ohhhh. It’s a cyclic hell!!

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