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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:57 PM
Original message
What do you think about lotteries?
This question is prompted by my RW mother telling me about the ten tickets she bought earlier today and her asking why we didn't buy any. Well, we never buy lottery tickets or play any of the scratch games.

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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
1. ya can't win if you don't play
:evilgrin:
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. It's not my form of entertainment
I'd rather spend that dollar on a newspaper or a soda pop. When they first started, I played them infrequently, but soon figured out that the odds were against me winning enough to make up for the money I spent. And I found the excitement of scratching off the numbers wasn't worth the money I invested.
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wakeme2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:01 PM
Response to Original message
3. It is a tax that you could win
just do not pay more than you can afford. :evilgrin:

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Wickerman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
4. tax for those who are bad at math
to coin a phrase. Once you understand probability you would never play thinking you might actually win. Of course, the one rule of thumb that most use is that you can't win unless you play, but the odds are really damn similar.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #4
10. And the poor, who prefer the low payoff/better odds games. nt
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central scrutinizer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #4
12. here's one way to imagine the probability
Suppose there are 45 numbers and you have to pick 7 to win. Now imagine a stack of paper 2.86 MILES high and your name is written on one of them. A tornado hits the stack and paper is blown everywhere. Slowly, one sheet wafts down and lands at your feet. How likely is it that that one sheet has your name on it?

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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:39 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. So your odds are not much better than if you don't buy a ticket at all.
But of course some people do win.

It's a lark.
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MarsThe Cat Donating Member (978 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #12
24. but if it does happen to have your name on it...
you'll kick yourself forever if you didn't throw a dollar at it.
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conflictgirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
32. That's exactly how I see it, too.
I never buy them - I'd rather spend my $10 a week on good coffee. LOL

My dad has played lotto since I was a little kid and I'm 31 now, so it's probably been a good 25 years and he hasn't won yet. But he says he can't quit playing it now because he figures that's when his numbers would come up. :eyes:
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:02 PM
Response to Original message
5. I like them. I don't play very often, but I agree with the other
poster. You can't win if you don't play!

I never really expect to win when I buy a ticket, but I'd bet NONE of the winners in the past ever really expected to win either.

I don't expect it, but it sure would be great to be surprised!
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:06 PM
Response to Original message
6. I used to play the ohio lottery all the time, till
I found out how they scammed us into believing the money went to support the schools. They said profits would go to the schools if we voted in the lottery, but what they didn't tell us is that for every lottery $ the state took out a $ that they gave and put it in general fund. so the schools didn't do any better at all.
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:07 PM
Response to Original message
7. I sure as hell hope I win tonight!
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Straight Shooter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #7
36. I like your attitude!
:toast:
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seriousstan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
8. I never spend more than 2 dollars a week. I can afford it and it offers
that much entertainment for my family and myself. I make a big deal ot of reading the numbers off the computer and let the kids see if they match.

It is a good lesson in the proper manner of using games of chance for entertainment without grand expectations.
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:09 PM
Response to Original message
9. I've heard stories the money made doesn't go to education and such...
Politics and red tape have gotten in the way.

Since we got it here in TN the money hasn't made much difference in the way of helping education.

I should have added this to my post.
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conflictgirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
42. That bothers me, too.
If people spend a relatively small amount and don't seriously expect to win, but are just doing it because it gives them enjoyment to hope and dream, then that's fine. Just a matter of personal preference. But if they really think that they're helping the schools by doing so, that makes me really sad since it doesn't seem to be based in reality.
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TallahasseeGrannie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:16 PM
Response to Original message
11. I don't play too often
but really, it's the only remote possibility most of us have to think someday we might be hugely rich. The dream is more valuable than the ticket. Not that I am so hot on that level of riches, but thinking that it is possible is fun. It's a game.

And in FL, the schools do benefit.
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INdemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
13. Most states use
computers to pick daily games winning numbers. I think they could very easily be rigged...The states can talk about all the security measures taken but still I think they are rigged...
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:32 PM
Response to Original message
14. Spending it on each other rather than gambling makes greater rewards.
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Jose Diablo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
15. I hear Powerball is up to $344M. Pretty good odds too.
The odds on Powerball is 1 in 146 million. With a pay-out of about 2 for one in odds it makes it a 'good' bet. Anytime the payout is greater than the odds, it's a 'good' bet. So anytime the payout goes above $146 million, mathematically it's a 'good' bet. Of course, the payout really isn't that big, they pump it up by buying an annuity paying out over many many years to make it seem bigger than it really is. Still, 50% of 344 is still 172. I can live on that.

Well, somebodies got to win. Why not me?
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mondo joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:38 PM
Response to Original message
16. No problem at all. If it's how people choose to spend their money, then
so be it. I'm pro-choice.
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MrSlayer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
18. $340 million is worth buying a few tickets.
Someone has to win and you can't win if you don't play.
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Poppyseedman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:47 PM
Response to Original message
19. Lotteries are a tax on the poor
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
20. After I win the powerball lottery tonight, I'm making plans for a trip
to Amsterdam..
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Blasphemer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:50 PM
Response to Original message
21. As long as you don't spend a ridiculous amount of $ on tickets...
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 07:51 PM by Blasphemer
it's no big deal. My aunt won $5,000 once which I figure will offset what my whole family will spend over their entire lifetimes and then some. I think there are those who have serious lotto addiction but it's pretty rare.
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MarsThe Cat Donating Member (978 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
22. it's a "Stupid Tax"...but you can't win if you don't play....
everyone kicking in a dollar to hold a raffle to buy the lucky winner out of poverty- not a bad idea, actually...
but when people pin unrealistic hopes on it, or spend unralistic amount of money on it- it can be a problem.
but i don't see any harm in pinning a buck or two a week onto a dream.
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. Yeah, a buck or two is no big deal
But when someone making a low wage is blowing $20 to $50 a week on it (and I see them doing it all the time) it's problematic. And all the media attention focused on the rare lucky winners creates the false impression of higher likelihood of winning that leads to the unrealistic hopes.
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alarcojon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #27
40. Excellent points
The people who can least afford it probably play it the most.
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Hello_Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:52 PM
Response to Original message
23. It's a form of regressive taxation and let's face it
You have a far better chance of being murdered or struck by lightning than of winning the Powerball. And yet I see people, who look like they can ill afford the expense, lining up at the Circle K to buy $20 worth of tickets when the jackpot is in the multi-millions. I don't think they should be banned - People have the right to squander their money if they want to but I wish they'd realize that they might as well just take that same money and burn it for all the good it's doing them. I also think there are better ways to fund the schools or whatever it is they spend the ticket revenues on.
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HeeBGBz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
25. I'll let you know tomorrow
But tonight I have fantasies of what I could do with $340 million.
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
26. Where else can you buy hope for a buck?
:shrug:
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:00 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. I love dreaming about all those naked hula girls swatting my bare
butt with palm leaves.. damn its only a dollar a ticket..
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 07:58 PM
Response to Original message
28. Very bad idea.
Tax on the poor. Another excuse to reduce taxes on the rich. Invites poor people to vote for Repukes. "Hey, I might be a millionaire some day!"

But, having said all of that ... you can't stop gambling. Like prostitution and other victimless crimes, if we're going to have them, we ought to try to make them legal, safe, and the source of some tax revenue.

-Laelth
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Not a "tax on the poor", a tax on the stupid.
Although, at $340M, it almost makes financial sense to buy a ticket (I think the "magic" pot to buy a ticket is $370M - your chance of willing equals your investment).
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alarcojon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:07 PM
Response to Reply #30
43. The expectation is positive at a high enough payoff
but all that means is that, in the long run, playing for payoffs like this will result in a small net gain for you. Maybe you could expect to spend $370 million to win $370 million once. Excuse me if I don't get too excited about that.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 11:22 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. Oh, I agree.
But there IS a point at which it's mathematically reasonable to play.
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yella_dawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:31 PM
Response to Original message
31. When the Texas Lottery was put into place
I was in a college statistics course. We spent a week analyzing the numbers.


I don't play lottery, scratch-off, etc. My term is "tax for the mathematically challenged".


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northzax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
33. I am 100% in favour
of me winning the lottery tonight. I never buy more than one ticket (honestly, buying two or twenty doesn't really increase your odds of winning enough to justify the purchase. but I'll have a great birthday on friday if I win (I may have to move the happy hour to, oh, I don't know, Greece? Costa Rica? Bangkok? hmm...)

it could be the best birthday anyone has ever had, lottery win AND indictments!
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JohnLocke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
34. It's for people who don't understand statistics (nt).
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:37 PM
Response to Original message
35. Statistically, I've got a better chance of being struck by lightning
Twice, or maybe three times, than winning the Lottery.

OTOH, I increase my chances from 0 in N millions to 1 in N millions by actually Buying a Ticket. :)

So if you don't go nuts buying tickets, or start planning your life around what's going to happen when you win, it's a bit of harmless fun.
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Geoff R. Casavant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:48 PM
Response to Original message
37. I did the math once
and figured out it made good mathematical sense to buy 5 tickets, but only if the jackpot was over $30 mil, so that's what I occasionally do.
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:50 PM
Response to Original message
38. I'll buy them sometimes when I think about it. Only $1 though.
Edited on Wed Oct-19-05 08:51 PM by cat_girl25
I used to dish out $5 or $10 but no more. It only takes a dollar.
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Booster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 08:56 PM
Response to Original message
39. This reminds me of the old joke about an older Jewish gentleman
who had a bad run of financial problems. He asked "God, why don't you let me win the lottery?", there was a bolt of lightning and a booming voice that answered "Man, ya got to meet me half way. Ya got to buy a ticket".
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oasis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
41. If you are meant to win, it's a life changing experience.
:woohoo:
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Fescue4u Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
44. If you play $1 a week, you'll win in 3,096,153 years
Of course you can speed things along, play $100 a week and win in about 31,000 years.

I don't play. bad bet.
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spooked Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 09:25 PM
Response to Original message
45. Voluntary Taxation
n/t
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