Tag Archives: Lottery

How Much Is Not Enough?

Tonight’s Powerball jackpot is about 500 million dollars (give or take a million).

500 million

I, like many others around the country, will be joining forces with several friends and purchasing large quantities of tickets.

The theory, naturally, is to increase our chances of winning.

 

I’ve done it before and I must admit, it’s difficult to not fantasize about all the things I’m going to do with the booty, even though I know the result will most likely be a repeat of this attempt.

In tonight’s pool there will be 15 of us, each contributing $6 – which means, at $2 per ticket, we will have 45 chances to win.

If, or should I say WHEN, we win, and take the lump-sum payout, we’ll each walk away with about $24 million.

Not too shabby.

I could finally replace the missing hubcap on my Mitsubishi and buy some new socks.

cashI think it’s even safe to say that my great-grandchildren will still be enjoying it after I’m gone…

I also think it’s safe to say that there a very few people who would take issue with such a nice payday.

Which brings me to the reason I decided to write this post…

As I said, I’ll be one of 15 people in this attempt to hit it big…but the number of people in the group isn’t always that high.

There are only four of us willing to take a chance every week, regardless of the size of the jackpot. The rest are bandwagon-jumpers only interested when they stand to make “the big bucks”.

This attitude baffles me because the minimum Powerball jackpot is $40 million.

Minimum.

That’s Forty Meeeeeelllllion dollars.  Dr Evil

Some basic math tells us that, if there were 15 people participating, each person would pocket a cool 1.33 million.

Apparently 1.33 million isn’t enticing enough for some people to risk five or six bucks.

Now, granted…1.33 is not 24 – but is the risk/reward really that bad?

The guy who runs the pool I’m in (we’ll call him Julio) has determined that the “others” usually start climbing on board when the jackpot clears the 200 million mark.

More basic math…and we learn that the magic number for participation seems to be (gulp) 6.66 million.

I’m not one to cling to religious dogma, but that’s a bit eerie.

Anyway…root of all evil notwithstanding – I’ll throw my hat into any ring that has the word million attached to it.

root of all evil

If you play, good luck – hopefully one of us will get to sleep in tomorrow.

If I don’t win tonight, I’ll try again next week when the jackpot will either be in the neighborhood of 600 million ( a very nice neighborhood, indeed) or a paltry 40 million (not exactly the projects).

nice neighborhood

And if it’s true that money doesn’t buy happiness, at least I’ll be able to buy lots of stuff to take my mind off my misery.

Good luck to all of us and remember…

You can’t lose if you don’t play.

 

As always – thank you for reading

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Weight Loss, Debit Cards and Lottery Tickets – A Lunchtime Tale

It’s a beautiful day here in northeast Florida. One of those sunny days in the mid 70s with a gentle breeze that just makes you happy, even if you don’t want to be. (Apologies to my friends who are digging themselves out of the snow for the eighth time this week!)

Anyway, I wanted to use my lunch hour to write a cool, thought provoking, humorous and deeply meaningful blog post, but my muse must be out riding her motorcycle or something (Not that I blame her) so instead you’re going to get a random, very uninspiring and mostly meaningless story.

ride

Feel free to jump ship now, I won’t be offended. Besides – if you’ve read this far you have already registered on my analytics as a hit, so I can’t complain.

 

So here’s my tale – remember, you had your chance to leave…

As I stood in line at the market waiting for the less-than-grandmotherly old lady in front of me to figure out how to use the debit card scanner (Note to the debit card industry; Make all of these machines the same – it’s a pain in the ass having to figure out how to use a new model every time you make a purchase.) I couldn’t help but peruse the selection of tabloid magazines on the rack next to me.

My first thought was “Good Lord, when did we (Americans) become so god-awful obsessed with dieting?”

I mean, there were 9 different magazines on the rack (yes, I counted them) and on each cover was a headline for a story about slimming down and/or toning up. After a minute (grandma was now trying to figure out how to get cash back from the machine) I realized that I’ve been seeing these same kinds of magazines, with the same kinds of headlines since I was a kid (many, many years ago.) So the answer to my question; We’ve been obsessed with it for a long, long time.

Then (as grandma restarted her transaction because she accidentally pressed the cancel key) I made a mental connection. I’m sure I’m not the first to realize this, but I had some extra time to think about it today (because grandma needed the cashier to repeat the cash back instructions by now).

checkout

It’s really ironic, and kind of funny that Americans are so obsessed with weight loss while simultaneously getting the majority of their meals at a drive-thru window. It’s has to be the most brilliant marketing strategy in the history of mankind.

Get them addicted to eating stuff that is only food in the most technical sense of the word, wait until the average body mass index is somewhere north of 40 and then convince them that if they don’t lose weight their life is meaningless.

weight loss

(Grandma is now telling the cashier that she entered the wrong amount of cash back and needs to start over…again)

Throw in some assistance from clothing manufacturers, movie makers & image consultants and presto…a perpetual motion machine that cranks out money by creating the problem and then selling the solution.

It’s the ultimate gravy train.

My thoughts then proceed to the corner of “I Missed That Boat Blvd” and “How Can I Cash In Pkwy” (At this point in time grandma has mastered the debit machine and is now sifting through her coupons). Unfortunately I can’t think of a way to capitalize on the self-image obsessed nation to increase my book sales, but I can write a blog post about it and at least amuse myself (and hopefully you too) for a little while.

I guess my books fit into the same category…they won’t help you lose weight, get rich or get out of the checkout line any faster…but they will amuse you for a little while.

 

Oh – the store manager was nice enough to rescue me from behind grandma and escort me to the service desk for faster service…right behind the guy riding in the motorized shopping cart ordering lottery tickets…

 

As always – thank you for reading

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You Can’t Lose if You Don’t Play

Well, once again I didn’t win the Powerball jackpot, so it looks like I’ll have to set the alarm clock again tonight.

I’m getting closer, though…the winning ticket was sold in Florida so the jackpot gods are zeroing in on my location.

lottery dying

 

Even though I didn’t win, I’m glad the hype is over. Now we can resume normal behavior and stop pondering how we will spend all those millions…New car, caviar, four star daydream…think I’ll buy me a football team…

Now it’s time for the reverse philosophy. Telling ourselves how glad we are that we didn’t win because of all the hell we’d have to deal with after our number came up.

The “old friends” who come out of the woodwork, the relatives who suddenly treat you like their favorite and let’s not forget the charities who only want a minute of your time (and a stack of your cash).

Yeah, I’m glad I don’t have to deal with all that crap.

I can keep writing and waiting for that phone call from Steven Spielberg telling me he wants to make movies of all my books.

A quick look at the Powerball website will tell you that you had about a 1 in 175,000,000 chance of winning the jackpot. That’s 1…ONE…out of One-Hundred-and-Seventy-Five- MILLION.

I figure my chances of hearing from Steve (Mr. Spielberg to you) have to be better.

So while everybody else is plunking down their cash to buy lottery tickets, I’ll keep pecking away at the keyboard and waiting for the phone to ring.

Naturally, I’ll need help from you.

YOU are my lottery ticket…

Without your support, Spielberg will never know what he’s missing. So now that your lottery fever is gone and you’ll need something else to drop your dough on…try my books.

Hell – for a little more than $10 (five powerball tickets) you can get all of my books on your e-reader. Click here and take your pick. What a deal…and when you’re done reading them you won’t have to tear them up in frustration and throw them in the trash while you think about all of the things you were going to buy.

money can't buy happiness

Plus, you’ll get to read some fun stories where the good guys (if you can figure out who they are) always win.

As always…Thank you for reading.

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