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Lotteries


Casey
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In Australia, as in the US, there is a lottery known to one and all as Powerball. They advertise it as the lottery with the biggest prizes over here.

 

All you gotta do is buy a ticket, mark off five numbers in one section and one in another.

 

Then comes the big draw. They draw 5 numbers out of 45 from one barrel, then one number out of 45 which is the Powerball.

 

You win if you match:

 

 

1 All 5 winning numbers from the first draw machine plus 1 Powerball winning number.

2 All 5 winning numbers from the first draw machine.

3 Any 4 winning numbers from the first draw machine plus the 1 Powerball winning number.

4 Any 3 winning numbers from the first draw machine plus the 1 Powerball winning number.

5 Any 4 winning numbers from the first draw machine.

6 Any 2 winning numbers from the first draw machine plus the 1 Powerball winning number.

7 Any 3 winning numbers from the first draw machine.

 

Odds against winning?

 

1 54,979,154 : 1 against (1 chance in 45C5 x 45C1 outcomes)

2 1,249,525.25 : 1 (5C5 x 40C0 x 44) / 45C5 x 45C1, take inverse and subtract 1

3 274,894.78 : 1 (5C4 x 40C1) / 45C5 x 45C1, take inverse and subtract 1

4 7,047.61 : 1 (Work it out for yourself, you ought to know how by now)

5 6,246.63 : 1 (Ditto for the rest)

6 555.47 : 1

7 159.10 : 1

 

Overall Odds against winning any prize (per game)?

 

118.77 : 1

 

Geez Louise, how can they afford those big payouts eh? OK it is known that Powerball in Australia returns 60% of the take to the winners, making the House Percentage about 40%. You know something, if you (like me) are stupid enough to be a smoker, you get all kinds of warnings printed on any pack of smokes you buy, whether you like it or not. Are these odds printed on Powerball tickets? No. Does the following appear on a Powerball ticket :

 

"Caution! When you have a dollar in your pocket it is worth a dollar, when you invest it in this ticket it is worth 60 cents"? No such warning is given.

 

Bloody hell, let's say I owned a wheel on which the numbers from 0 to 9 appear. Let's further suppose I have a steady clientele who play it, of which you are one. You may bet any number you like for up to $10 a shot. The Odds against winning are 9 : 1. Think I'll give you 9 : 1?

 

Christ no! I'll give you 8 : 1, maybe 7 : 1 or worse if you are a mug (chump or soft mark in the US). At 8 : 1 my percentage is (9 - 8) / 10) x 100 or 10%. "Caution! A dollar in your pocket is worth a dollar, on this wheel it is worth 90 cents". Now where have we seen something like that before?

 

Now you might say there are enough people doing their damnedest to devalue the currency so why should I be allowed to add to their number? In return I would ask why I should be called a Known Gambler and thus a criminal for devaluing your dollar to 90 cents when every week the Government will, if you let 'em, devalue your dollar to 60 cents?

 

Perhaps another warning should appear on Lottery tickets: "Caution! Lotteries are a tax upon imbeciles!" End of rant.

Casey

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I live in Nevada, which has legalized gambling, of course. Here we have Megabucks - slot machines that are all interconnected with a huge jackpot that pays out once every blue moon. I'm sure the odds on that are worse than Powerball.

 

I often thought there should be a sign on every slot machine in Las Vegas:

 

"This hotel cost 1.9 billion dollars to build. Thank you so much."

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LOL So true!

 

Although I embarrassingly admit to buying a few raffle tickets a few days ago. My uni is having a raffle for a Mini Cooper S all decked out and pimped up with Butler University leather seats, school colors, etc...

 

I really need a new car and the tickets were $20/ea. I bought 10. The max number of tickets that can be bought is 3500, and they hadn't even reached selling 500 of them when I bought my tickets and they are only being sold one more week (they obviously priced them WAAAY too high!). They said hardly any students are buying because of cost... most are alumni and faculty and staff. I contemplated my odds before I bought the tickets and I was correct in that I may have a shot. If I win though, I don't know how I will pay the taxes! ;) Of course, I will not win, but it's fun to dream! Plus, I get my name somewhere in the new football stadium. ;)

 

Edit: For those of you that know my story and tribulations with Butler, this is also me trying to be a decent person. I like Butler (at least what it stands for) and I got a good education in liberal arts. I also want the Dean of the College of Pharmacy to feel bad if she ever sees my name on that stadium plaque. ROFL

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I don't make enough money as it is, why in the hell would I burn any of it gambling? Not that I'm against on ethical grounds, just that it seems like a waste of money. Especially with my luck, I could buy a hundred tickets a month and still never win.

 

At least every Friday I am guarenteed a payoff from work.

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I'll buy raffle tickets if it's raising money for a worthy cause, I figure it's like charity. I very occasionally buy scratch off lottery tickets just for the heck of it, but I never play Powerball, Daily Lotto, etc. It's like throwing your money away.

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Somewhere I seem to recall a saying along the lines of "Lotteries are a tax on people who can't do math."

 

I don't remember who said it, otherwise I'd credit it fair and square.

 

Fwiw at least in this state a good portion of lottery proceeds goes straight to the General Education Fund. So in some sense if I bought a lottery ticket, I probably wouldn't win, but the money wouldn't be wasted...

 

...although I also suppose that the general ed fund can't be um... funding stuff well enough, if it doesn't teach math and statistics well enough that people don't later grow up and spend $$$ on the lottery!

 

Eh, don't pay any attention to me tonight, it's late-ish and I'm tired and keeping company with a Pyramid Hef.

 

Whoa. And shit, it just started hailing. WTF??

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Somewhere I seem to recall a saying along the lines of "Lotteries are a tax on people who can't do math."

 

I don't remember who said it, otherwise I'd credit it fair and square.

 

The author of the quote I used was Gerolamo Cardano, a Florentine mathematician who is considered one of the founders of the Theory of Probability. Oddly enough he was himself reputed to be a heavy gambler so I suppose he knew whereof he spoke.

Casey

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I personally enjoy gambling. It has something that I have witnessed since I was little. My parents would take my brother and I up skiing, and we'd stay in Reno, NV, and at night my parents would send me and my brother to the arcade (one would stay with us, of course, until they felt we were old enough to handle being by ourselves for a couple hours) while they would go and gamble. They would also play Keno while we ate dinner, and occassionally let us pick their numbers for them, escalating up to gambling for us. (Say, my mom would front me the cost of one Keno ticket a day, but after that I was on my own and had to pay for them.)

 

Now I'm able to gamble my own, as long as we go to a place that's allows 18-and-up to gamble instead of the 21-and-up I'm used to.

 

But, my parents were sure to teach me how to gamble RESPONSIBLY. AKA, don't gamble what you can't afford to loose! When they take me to 18-and-over casinos, I tend to only bring a couple $20s, and cash out at certain points. I also play small amounts, normally.

 

When we're in Reno, I'll play Keno, but usually just my one fronted game. If I don't hit anything on that game, I'm done for the night.

 

There is nothing wrong with having a little excitement in your life that comes from the chance of beating the odds. As long as handled responsibly, there is no harm in it.

 

And like gwenmead said, the taxes from state-sponsored gambling are actually supposed to go to a good use. If more people slapped down a dollar a week, then there'd be more tax money for education. Hmmm....

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There's a balance to that, though. When Idaho (I think) first started up their state lottery, they implemented the same system wherein the proceeds would go to the state's education fund. The lottery brought in $5m. No sooner had the stubs been counted than the state's education budget had was cut by $5m. :Hmm:

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California has had a lottery for years, with proceeds going to education. I play it rarely. I think it's been about a year since I bought a ticket. The state has recently joined up with the MegaMillions lottery, which is similar to Powerball. My in-laws live in Montana and once in a rare while they buy a Powerball ticket.

 

My husband and I have gone to Reno and Vegas a few times. We take $20 a piece to the casinos and when we run out, we walk away. I play the nickel slots and have actually done quite well. Cheaper than playing videogames sometimes. Same thing, though, I put any nickel slots winnings back into the game and when I run out, I walk away.

 

"The best way to double your money? Fold it over and put it back in your pocket!" :grin:

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There's a balance to that, though. When Idaho (I think) first started up their state lottery, they implemented the same system wherein the proceeds would go to the state's education fund. The lottery brought in $5m. No sooner had the stubs been counted than the state's education budget had was cut by $5m. :Hmm:

 

The same thing happened in California too. I think it happened just about anywhere that reason for the lottery was used.

 

The legislature should have enacted a provision that the percentage of the state budget dedicated to education would not change after the initiation of the lottery. That would be the only way to ensure that lottery funds actually helped the schools. Today the lotteries are just a ‘dolt-tax’ that subsidizes the former spending amount.

 

I am a dolt though. Every time Power Ball reaches $100M, I fork over five bucks.

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Well, in your defense, it's not like $5 is going to break the bank.

 

At least you're a mostly harmless dolt. :tongue:

 

:HaHa:

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California has had a lottery for years, with proceeds going to education. I play it rarely. I think it's been about a year since I bought a ticket. The state has recently joined up with the MegaMillions lottery, which is similar to Powerball. My in-laws live in Montana and once in a rare while they buy a Powerball ticket.

 

My husband and I have gone to Reno and Vegas a few times. We take $20 a piece to the casinos and when we run out, we walk away. I play the nickel slots and have actually done quite well. Cheaper than playing videogames sometimes. Same thing, though, I put any nickel slots winnings back into the game and when I run out, I walk away.

 

"The best way to double your money? Fold it over and put it back in your pocket!" :grin:

 

LOL! What I do is I put a five into a nickle machine and play five lines at one bet per line. If the machine isn't playing, I leave after that five dollars is used up. If I manged to double my money (or more), then I will play it down to the next down multiple of $5 and cash out, then put another $5 in. If I don't get it over $10, then I will play as if I didn't win.

 

Thus, I tend to make my money last longer than my mom, who typically goes through at least twice as much money as me. ^_^

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Even $200 isn't enough to signifigantly improve your odds.

 

Yeah, we used to call the lottery "investing for the mathematically challenged." And while I will occasionally play a scratcher ticket (those things are fun, with the quarter and the scratching and the...*ahem*)

I only buy one if I "feel" its hot (don't know how to explain it, it's just plain wierd and I know better than to rely on it, and I am up $85 on 5 tickets, two won). Not the best strategy, and I quit playing (I like to brag a bit about rooking the state lotto).

 

As far as gambling, though, I perfer blackjack and poker, (and with poker, a table full of chumps). With the right players, poker isn't gambling, it becomes investing... :Duivel7:

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