I don’t have the economic data to back up the “banner” claim but who cares. I feel it in my gut. We just had a big jackpot which means were were subjected to all of the usual big-lotto-prize bullshit:
- Local news covering the “story” that people are buying more than the usual amount of lotto tickets.
- Chit chat from the UPS driver about $2 tickets and that no one from our state ever wins. (He was right.)
- Lots and lots of news articles on the internet about how winning can be bad. (Fuck you.)
- Blog posts up the ying-yang about how the ill-gotten booty would be spent.
- Nigeria and Facebook users teaming up to rock the scams like there’s no tomorrow.
- Excitement about who won and – do tell! – what are their plans?
I also see a lot of stories about all of the “good” that comes from government-sponsored gambling in the form of lotteries. “$X amount went to upgrade caskets for drowned puppies.” Well, la-dee-da! When I read that all I can see is: “Citizens in the great state of Iowa wasted $10x dollars by throwing their money in the nearest toilet.” That’s $10x not spend at local stores. That’s $10x not saved for retirement. That’s $10x not spent on their past due bills. That’s $10x not given to charity. That’s probably $10x money gone forever that most of the people who spent could ill afford to lose.
Wow. That is good.
They were talking about the lotto in the office. The boss made the mistake of asking me what I’d do if I won. “You’d never see me again,” I quipped. Sometimes I’m so damn proud of myself. Of course, I then immediately played it off like I was joking. It’s only a joke. Yeah. Right.
I thought about it for a moment and I said this. “I just read a story that says winning the lotto doesn’t necessary make people happier. I call bullshiats.”
This is what I’d do…
I wanted to give him a serious answer. And fuck it if he’s the boss. He may not like what I have to say. Suck it.
“I’d use the money to maximize, as much as possible, the amount of time spent every day doing things that I enjoy. At the same time I’d minimize, as much as possible, the stuff in my life that is pain.”
“I’d also use the money to reduce the number of people in my life who the power to tell me what to do.”
Oops. By all of those standards that’s a lose-lose-lose proposition for the boss. Golly. I hope I didn’t hurt his feelings. He did ask for it. Damn fool.
Before all that, though, the first thing I’d do is a no-brainer. I’d remain anonymous. That’s the wrong damn kind of celebrity. I don’t want to be known for money ownership. I want to be known for something important. Like getting my ass stuck in a garbage disposal or something. I want to be famous and cool. A role model for the kids. Give something back, ya know?
They say let the buyer beware. The lotto ticket buyer better be extra beware. If you’re like me and wonder why most of these asshole winners reveal their identities it’s probably because they are not given a choice. Only six states give winners the right to remain anonymous. The rest? Prepare to meet the wolves!
The bureaucracies that run lotteries cite various reasons for their non-anonymous policies. It’s good P.R., it increases confidence in the system to put a public face on winners, allowing winners to remain anonymous would “raise questions.”
“There’s a real disconnect between the interest of the lottery officials and the winners. The best thing a winner can do is remain anonymous.”
–Andrew Stoltmann, attorney who represents lottery winners
Source: US Today
Personally I’m so sick of stories about how winning the lottery can be bad for you that I’m about ready to drive to the lotto HQ and kick the building. Or maybe just lotto all over their welcome mat. That’d show ’em!
I’m willing to take my fucking chances.
“Money can’t buy you love.” I’d accept that as an axiom. On the other hand, it can put some distance between you and that disgusting nutjob, the boss.
So sign me up!
So yeah, I made my $2
idiotic self-taxation donation to the cause because even though the odds are small, the odds of winning are impossible if you don’t buy at least one ticket. And I very much want to be that asshole who only bought one ticket and won the whole thing. Is anyone more hated than that guy? I wanna be him.
In reality, I prefer to buy a single ticket per week. Who gives a shit about the size of jackpot? That’s just something used to incite and inflame the rabble. The reality is that I’m so far below the bottom of the barrel that what constitutes “life-changing money” is amazingly small. That’s one of the primary benefits of being me. Hell, the amount of money that Mitt Romney blows on a single leather comfy chair would be enough for me to life in relative luxury for the rest of my life. I’m not greedy.
Any jackpot would do the job. Any major hit would also do the job. Just matching two numbers on a single ticket would be enough to make my ticker leap out of my chest and dance a little jig on the kitchen table. I don’t want much.
I don’t know all the rules for the Powerball. As far as I know I provide $2 and I get one chance at the jackpot. Simple enough. I went ahead and educated myself a bit more. You have to pick five numbers (1 through 59) and a Powerball number between 1 and 35. That makes the odds of winning the jackpot 1 in 175,223,510. The size of the jackpot and the number of other people playing has no effect on these odds. Those things can only affect the potential size of your payout (jackpot only). And fuck the “power play” multiplier option, too. That doesn’t affect the jackpot, either.
If that sounds like long odds, consider that you actually have a better chance this year than before, when the odds used to be 1 in 195,249,053. On January 15, 2012, they reduced the Powerball numbers from 39 to 35. They wanted a few more winners.
What that means is that if you play every week of the year, you can reasonably expect to match the Powerball maybe one or two times. Does that help put the odds in perspective?
The other fun thing about big lotto hubbub is how it brings out the crazies. For some a huge lotto payout represents a chance to seriously fuck with the public on Facebook. Yeah, we humans are cool like that. It works like this: A flaming asshat jackass of a should-have-been-aborted-former-fetus on Facebook posts a badly photoshopped picture of his “winning” ticket and says he’ll give out $1 million dollars to one lucky winner who shares his image. His picture is obviously a fake because it has the numbers in the wrong order, among other problems. But guess what? 200,000 pathetic loser Earthlings gleefully signed up to fall for it. (Source: PC Magazine.)
Meanwhile lots of other Facebook users try variations on the “I’m a fake winner” gambit by offering goodies and cash for people who comment, like, etc. It’s the sort of thing that makes me wish the world had more maggots. All of the sudden Nigeria scams look classy and sophisticated. Sorry, fools. I have no interest in assisting with your social masturbation. Get a room.
That said, it’s time for my next contest! You, yes you, the lucky reader who actually got this far, this is your chance at the big time. I’m getting away one (1) U.S. Penny to a lucky winner who clicks the “Like” button for this post, comments, licks my underarms and picks up my dry cleaning. No purchase necessary. Shipping charges of $7.00 are not included.
“Win” this contest and you’ll only owe me $6.99. That’s a lotto-sized bargain. I don’t do “fake.” That’s how I keep it real.