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Comments

Seamus McCauley

Not sure if this is the case in the US, but all the big stakes games in the UK give you the option, if you win, of "publicity" or "no publicity". Quite apart from the demographic make-up of lottery ticket buyers (which I suspect will account for most of the phenomenon), I'd guess your neurosurgeon would have the sense to tick the "leave me to enjoy my winnings in peace" box rather than the "oooh, I get to be on TV as well!" box.

T.G.

In my country there are many rich people who win the lottery, mainly relatively modest prices, recently we got a sentence againts one of those guys because neither the judge can believe he can win more than 10 prices in a row. Funny, the banks are the ones to do the negotiations and buy the winner tickets.

Nic

somebody already mentioned Michael Carroll but i thought i'd give you a link

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/11/05/nlot05.xml

he didn't quit his job - he didn't have one, at the time he won he'd just got out of prison, he had an electronic tag and it was the first lottery ticket he ever bought.
he's been in and out of prison ever since i think - once for smashing up a church disco with a baseball bat.

if he'd had any sense he could've used the media attention to get his own slot on QVC selling shell suits


Stephen

I can't believe you guys pay 70% tax. If I won 100 mill I would expect 8 zero's in my bank account - nothing less. You should compare your lottery companies against the UK company - Camelot

Ticket cost 100p
Lottey Duty 12p
Prizes (tax free) 50.5p
Charity 26p
Vendor commission 5p
Machines and data link 2p
Admin 3.5p
Profit 1p

Still the expected return on every pound you spend is 50.5p. Compare this to other forms of gambling: -

Slots 70 - 85p
(in the UK anyway, I expect you guys get ripped off again. Over here, the payoff has to be written on the side of the machine)
Sports betting 85 - 95p
Roulette 97p
(again that is UK roulette - we only get one 0 - you guys have a double 00 as well so that lowers the payout to 94p)
Blackjack 98.5p

Then there are proper investments which actually return more than you put in.

In my experience, the worse you are at maths, the more likely you are to be ripped off

Kevin Kunreuther

1)I hate TypePad. After spending several hours writing, editing, honing what I thought was a beautiful, funny, thoughtful comment to Terrorism or Stupidity?, I clicked on the Preview button, and hey, presto! Typepad spit our a we're down for maintainence, sorry you can't use Back button on your browser to retrieve what you just wrote it's completely lost forever, ha, ha, ha, L-O-S-E-R. Now, in retrospect, I could have wrote and saved my essay on Notepad (as I was using a Windows XP workstation), then (attempted to) copy-paste the essay to comments section of Terrorism Or Stupidity? blog entry. Yet, I never have these problems with Blogger. As someone who likes to write, the annoyance factor when something created disappears like it never existed is amazingly stratospheric. The helplessness, the powerlessness, the inability to retrieve my work. It might as well been written down on paper but snatched from my hands and thrown into a roaring furnace before my eyes. Never trust or become too comfortable with ANY technology (I'm sure the day Blogger lets me down is on the horizon, I'm merely wearing a hat two sizes too large, making me blind to the possibility).
2)Most rich people do not buy lottery tickets, but oddly enough, those very few that do, have hit the jackpot. A Texas trust-fund baby/WASP SMU sorority girl ago bought a quick pick TEXAS LOTTO ticket for fun at the 7-Eleven - she won the jackpot (about $2.5-$3 million dollars at the time, "chicken feed", nowadays) and the media DID make a stink about it. Lest we forget about that West Virginian businessman/millionaire who won the $300 million Powerball a couple Christmases ago - and made headlines again by blowing the WHOLE WAD on gambling, prostitutes, drugs and "supposedly" getting ripped off by friends of his kids and being involved in a death by nefarious circumstances investigation.
3.)I'll never forget an interview the actor, musician, artist Martin Mull gave ten years ago, he mentioned he buys lotto tickets and if he ever wins $25 million (isn't that what Jim Carrey gets paid per motion picture now?) or more jackpot, he'll quit acting immediately and retire, painting pictures and playing guitar.
4.)Even rock stars play the lottery. A member of now defunct band Tripping Daisy bought a scratch-off ticket and won $10,000 (unless you're the main songwriter or the lead singer, band members under contract get paid a weekly or monthly stipend from either record company or management, drawn from royalties, future or otherwise(?), and or from profits from concerts, merchandising, etc set aside. Unless your band really really hits the jackpot, that stipend is barely white collar lower middle-class wages). Then several days later (after he cashed the lotto ticket) he won $20,000 from one pull of a slot machine in Bossier City, Louisiana while killing time before performing a show. It was fun and exciting he reported later on, but it screwed up his taxes because he had to fill out a separate tax form for money earned from gambling.
5.)Say for fun, why don't you write a movie treatment for Adam Sandler's production company? It couldn't HURT your career, because you practically do more than write Dilbert. Another paycheck, another chance to pop your champagne cork.

Paul

In the UK a newspaper had a competition to win GBP50k per year for life. Predictably the winner was in his seventies.

Adam

I'm sure you have already figured this out long ago, but I can't help myself. Only poor people win the lottery because only poor people are dumb enough to play.

Sam D

Adam Sandler... Punch Drunk Love was great. Lotto winning trucker with the clap; not so great.

mnuez

Don't know about Adam sandler or whatever, but could you PLEASE get that ugly-guy ad off the right side of your page? I hate it! It's always there and I HATE IT!

Thank you ~

mnuez

www.mnuez.blogspot.com

Tyler

I play the lottery once in a great while. Not every day, week, or even month..but every so often I'll pick up a scratch ticket just for the hell it. I'm not a neurosurgeon, nor am I 30... I'm 20 and work at a public access station... I could certainly use the money..

Hey wait a minute, what am I doing online when I could be a the store potentially winning millions of dollars?!

McGurker

Hey penethra, if you were an actual fan of Dilbert rather than having a life or something you would know that Dilbert won the lottery once.

He spent it on a black and white computer...all of it.

Than he used the computer to predict the future, when squirels rule the world.

Okgenuine

“Buy another yacht, smoke more weed, and float around the Mediterranean until I die from the clap.”

Heehee. That's why you make the big bucks. That's the only thing that hit me as truly funny all week. Last Comic Standing I would almost say was funny but I had to work too hard to get every joke. Maybe it's just my schizophrenia. I get a joke a day email from Comedy Central but they have all been terrible lately.

Do you ever hear a joke that's hysterical and then try to 1-up it for your Dilbert strip?

Rick

The truth is rich people don't play the lottery. For the most part rich people are better educated than poor people. If this was not true the poor people would figure out a way not to be poor. So when they look at the odds being 1 in 42000000000000 of winning they can figure out they have a better chance of being hit by lighting while have intercourse with a midget.

le Big MAC

As a son of a Powerball winner (SECOND PLACE - calm down ladies) I know, it can really happen. I agree the coincidences are weird... like many of the biggest winners come from the same small town in rural Wisconsin. True! But bear in mind, there's nothing else to do in rural Wisconsin except drive your truck and play games at the convenience store.
The ones I hate are the ones who whine that the windfall "ruined" their lives, and made them shallow and corrupt. No, not even-I like them, and want to take them out to dinner. I wonder if they've ever thought about producing an independent movie? Click my link, rich guy! Click it!

"NEW RULE: Stop saying you're going to keep your job after you've won the powerball jackpot. Not only are you going to quit, your co-workers want you to quit. No one wants to be the one standing at the pork processing assembly line next to the unbearable ass in the Gucci smock." - Bill Maher

Will

Quote: "But I notice that the people who win are coincidentally the people who would be best for marketing future Powerball lotteries."

---
Two words for you: *confirmation bias*. You just don't notice the winners who don't fit your preconceived notions.

Check out the story of the PowerBall winner whose payoff was the largest in American history, at the time:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Whittaker_%28lottery_winner%29

"Whittaker was the 55-year-old president of Diversified Enterprises Construction, a successful contracting firm in Putnam County, West Virginia, when he chose the correct numbers for the December 25, 2002 drawing. Whittaker had a net worth of over US$1 million even before his Powerball windfall. "

Karolina

I disagree. Why would a wealthy man such as the one you described buy a lottery ticket? Either he is a.) smart enough to know the odds are slim to none, or b.) too proud to ever be known as "that guy who become richer from a lottery ticket." Much less respectable than hard work, and even inheritance (because it means at least your ancestors were hard workers).

The poor guy with no chance is the one who'll say, "What the hell? I'll blow $2 on another lottery ticket. And maybe I'll buy another beer too." He gets that little enjoyment out of the prospects of winning an insane amount money he doesn't actually believe he will win, whereas Richie McRich is like "Another $100 million? That'll maybe pay for my personalize toilet paper."

I think it makes perfect sense they would win, though your scenario doesn't sound too far fetched ;) I think it's funny and not nearly impossible! Haha.

Karolina

I disagree. Why would a wealthy man such as the one you described buy a lottery ticket? Either he is a.) smart enough to know the odds are slim to none, or b.) too proud to ever be known as "that guy who become richer from a lottery ticket." Much less respectable than hard work, and even inheritance (because it means at least your ancestors were hard workers).

The poor guy with no chance is the one who'll say, "What the hell? I'll blow $2 on another lottery ticket. And maybe I'll buy another beer too." He gets that little enjoyment out of the prospects of winning an insane amount money he doesn't actually believe he will win, whereas Richie McRich is like "Another $100 million? That'll maybe pay for my personalize toilet paper."

I think it makes perfect sense they would win, though your scenario doesn't sound too far fetched ;) I think it's funny and not nearly impossible! Haha.

Paul Mooney

I guess nobody saw Sandler in "Mr. Deeds." I think he pretty much already made this movie.

a person

Fool! Now you've put that idea out into the collective consciousness of the universe! Dammit!! Don't give Sandler any more ideas!

Jed Snole

Have a look at http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/05/national/05winnings.html?ex=1291438800&en=de8fded9e974d064&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss . It's all about a blue-collar worker who won a $34 million lottery and his life promptly spiraled out of control. I recall reading other similar articles but Google can't seem to find them right now.

You can also look at http://money.cnn.com/2007/02/20/magazines/fortune/lottery_winnings.fortune/index.htm - about a fairly ordinary guy who spread out the money among diversified investments, paid off his mortgage, had a couple relatively minor binge items and a few other expenditures, and seems to be doing OK. Could it be that everything we think we know about lottery winners is wrong?

Let's remember that the lottery winners we see on TV are not representative ouf the population. First, they are almost all selected from the set of people who are lottery players - i.e. those who think buying a lottery ticket is a good investment strategy. Second, they are people who have just discovered they've won millions of dollars. They already have a lawyer (Why is it that the farther down one is on the socioeconomic scale, the more quickly they can find a lawyer and get on the 11:00 news when something major happens to them?), and various other consultants have already latched onto them, so everything they do or say by the time they get on TV has been coached.

Hammertyme

God,

Your all morons.

Yes, we know rich people dont buy lotto often

Yes, we know a 30 year old could not be a neurosurgeon

No, your Adam Sandler, Richard Pryor, Rob Schneider "Next movie" joke is NOT funny. It was made in the blog already.

Who are all this dickheads who point out the flaws in Scotts plans? ITS A FUCKING COMEDY BLOGG.

Eric Blair

Ah, but you're forgetting perhaps the greatest lottery winner of all time - Whitey Bulger, who split part of a $14 million Mass Millions jackpot.

Somehow, on the run mobsters make for poor marketing campaigns.

Roni

Do some americans really still believe that the palestinians are just throwing rocks at israeli soldiers?

You do realise you have to buy a new newspaper every day? Reading the same one again doesn't count. It's hard to explain, just trust me.

Gandalf

Brian Porter, embezzler, endorsed checks for $90,299.77 last year . For nine months he played the daily double, sipped dry martinis, dallied with expensive prostitutes, flew first class from city to city, and spent the rest foolishly.

Devlyn

I was rather disappointed when I saw the numbers on the freeway billboard go back down to 15 (million). I forgot to buy my ticket, or else you'd hear my story of how I'm still going to work, but only enough so that I don't have to live off of anything more than the interest. I'm so incredibly boring.

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