Friday, March 21, 2008



I bought a lottery ticket today. I know the odds of winning is terrible. What's more, the jackpot is a paltry 2.4 million dollars. But I have my reason and that reason is, I saw a falling star last night. It was a good one, too.

I think I managed to say "Win Lotto Jackpot" before the shooting star petered out. Well, maybe just "Lotto Jackpot" without the win. Thanks to my big brain, shooting stars falls slower, so it's enough time for me to think of these things.

Anyway, I decided to just get some tickets. Who knows? Maybe I do get lucky.

Speaking of payback, lottery isn't a good deal. In fact, it is terrible! You don't actually get 20 million dollars. You actually get 1 million dollars a year for 20 years. There's a quick pay off option, but it will get you only half.

So you only get 10 millions out of it. Plus you have to pay tax, so 7 millions left. Not a bad deal for cheap tickets, right? Well, considering that prize money is only half the ticket money, that 20 million jackpot comes from 40 million dollars worth of ticket. Imagine that. You put in $40 million dollars in investment money, and only get $7 million back. That's a pretty lousy rate of return.

Another form of luck would be slot machine. That one is also bad, but as far as gambling goes, it is one of the better return of investment out there. Blackjack is the other, but let's talk about slot machine.

I once put a dollar into a penny slot machine, and got 6 dollars back. The temptation to put in a hundred was enormous, I can tell you. Later on, I would discover that the way to play these slot machines is to force the odds.

Let's say you havethe odds of 1 in 10,000 to win the jackpot. Well, you put in 10,000 tokens to play. Then you win the jackpot, the amount of which is hopefully more than 10,000 because other people have played in it.

That's why people put in 2000 dollars in a session and why penny slot machines are popular. You can make money with this. Of course, once in a blue moon, you ran out of money before you win the jackpot. That's the nature of the game. That's how casinos make money. The more money you put in the more chances you'll win and some other losers lose money. If you only put 1 dollar in, may as well kiss it goodbye.

Back to the lottery. How do you win? Well, you wait until the jackpot goes to $100 million dollars, then you go to the lottery office. You say, "The odds of winning is 1 in 12 million. Here's 12 million dollars. Get me the jackpot." In all probability, they'll throw you out. But if not, then the jackpot goes even higher, to your glee.

Of course, you're not the only one. Lots and lots of people jumps into it, and purchase more tickets, and lotto betting programs. The jackpot probably would grow to 240 millions in one week.

When you win, do you win the whole 200 millions? Of course not. You share the jackpot with other jackpot winners, which probably be 20 other people. 240 millions divided by 20 people means you get 12 million dollars. Minus taxes. 8 millions left. So you lose 4 million dollars out of the deal. Plus you have to wait 20 years to get it.

Well, a fool and his money are soon to part. :)

No comments: