Posts Tagged ‘gambling’

How Mega Millions and Powerball Make You a Loser

October 23, 2018

How Mega Millions and Powerball Make You a Loser

Nobody won last Friday’s Mega Millions lottery, so this week’s grand prize has grown to $1.6 billion dollars. That’s Billion, with a “B.” On Saturday, nobody won the Powerball lottery, so this week’s prize will be $620 million. These events are hardly surprising since both of these multi-state, government-sponsored gambling cartels recently tweaked the odds to produce such results.

Since the Mega Millions formula change, players now pick five numbers from 1 to 70 and a Mega number of 1 to 25. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350. The odds of winning the Powerball lottery are currently 1 in 292,201,338. The odds of being killed by a falling vending machine: 1 in 12,000,000.

Why did the lotteries ramp up the odds? If more people lose, the lottery prizes grow larger. When prizes grow, more people buy lottery tickets. When prizes are “only” $100 million, many lottery ticket buyers are the poor and desperate, but when prizes are huge, even wealthy people buy lottery tickets.When more people buy lottery tickets, the bigger the corporate profits for Mega Millions and Powerball. But selling more lottery tickets increases state school district budgets, right?

No. education budgets stay about the same. States merely use lottery profits to replace funding they previously got from other sources.

More:

“How Much Do Americans Spend on the Lottery?” Mike Brown, lendedu

“Per capita lottery spending has doubled since 1995,” Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post

“Why all lotteries are based on a lie,” Allison Schrager, Quartz

“Powerball Windfall? Schools Don’t Always Benefit From Lottery Sales,” Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News

“How ’80s excess fueled today’s Mega Millions mania,” Jonathan D. Cohen, Washington Post

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When I Win The Lottery

January 14, 2016

“When I Win The Lottery,” by Camper Van Beethoven.

When I win the lottery
Gonna buy all the girls on my block
A color TV and a bottle of French perfume
When I win the lottery
Gonna donate half my money to the city
So they have to name a street or a school or a park after me
When I win the lottery

Full lyrics here.

CVB website

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Next Big Winner

January 14, 2016

“Next Big Winner, by the Homegrown Band.

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Americans Sell Off Stocks, Buy Lottery Tickets

January 13, 2016

Americans Sell Off Stocks, Buy Lottery Tickets

It’s 2016. Wall Street is down, but lottery ticket sales are up. Wednesday’s Powerball grand prize is expected to be around $1.5 billion.

Powerball includes 44 state lotteries and those in DC, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Odds of winning: 1 in 292 million.

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The NBA Wants Gambling. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

November 15, 2014

The NBA Wants Gambling. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver wants betting on professional sports legalized in places other than Las Vegas, and wrote a New York Times op-ed about it. After all, why should the crooks get all that sports book money, $400 billion a year? Besides, nothing could go wrong, except maybe a bit of point shaving and a few dirty referee calls.

So will it happen? Don’t bet on it. It would take an act of Congress, a repeal of the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. And with this do-nothing Congress, odds are surely against it.

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John Oliver Plays (With) the Lottery

November 12, 2014

John Oliver Plays (With) the Lottery

Americans spent $68 billion playing the lottery last year, more than they spent on movie tickets, music, professional sports, video games and porn combined.. You can think of state lotteries as a tax on the dreams of the poor, since the poor spend more on these state-sponsored gambling schemes than more well-off people. Lottery ads sell hope, but the odds of winning are hopeless (1 in 176 million).

States sold the lottery concept to voters by saying the money earned would go to good causes like education, but it doesn’t, it merely displaces existing funding instead of supplementing it, so school budgets are flat or reduced.

Lottery winners are notoriously bad with their money. Hey, if they were good with money, would they play the freakin’ lottery in the first place?

John Oliver recently analyzed the lottery on his television program:

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Low-Power Powerball

May 18, 2013

Low-Power Powerball

“Powerball at an estimated $600 million as jackpot continues to grow,” AP via Fox News

“Got THE ticket for tonight’s big Powerball drawing?,” CNN

Odds of winning: 1 in 175.2 million.

Odds of becoming president: 1 in 43,000,000.

Odds of being struck by lightning this year: 1 in 700,000.

The lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math, according to Ambrose Bierce, but it’s worse than that. It’s a tax on the hopes and dreams of the poor. The only way lottery corporations get away with it is by giving a kickback to state governments, a small cut of their vast profits.

UPDATE:

“$590M-plus Powerball: 1 winning ticket sold in Florida,” Barbara Rodriguez, AP via Boston Globe

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Question 7: Maryland Gambling Proxy War

November 6, 2012

Question 7: Maryland Gambling Proxy War

Maryland voters go to the polls today to decide if they will be manipulated by West Virginia casino owners or Las Vegas casino owners. ‘Vegas wants to run gambling joints in Prince Georges County, near Washington DC. Maryland backers claim this will keep the money they lose inside their own state, as if it won’t just go to Nevada to be reinvested in Macau or a Mitt Romney PAC or something. West Virginia casino owners want to avoid competition from fancier gambling dens closer to Baltimore and DC, so they’re against it. The only sure winners here: advertising agencies and local broadcasters, since both sides spent millions bombarding helpless residents with commercials.

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Warren Buffett’s Message for Maryland Voters

October 9, 2012

Warren Buffett's Message to Maryland Voters

Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett, to MBA students at the Richard Ivey School of Business:

“On my honeymoon I traveled out west. When I visited the casino and saw all these smart well-dressed people participating in a game with the odds against them, it was then that I realized ‘I won’t have a problem getting rich!'”

— “The Moment When Warren Buffett Realized Getting Rich Would Be Easy,” Gus Lubin, Business Insider

Something to think about on Tuesday, November 6th.

Related:

“University of Maryland launches problem gambling center,” Chris Korman, Baltimore Sun

The High Price of America’s Gambling Addiction,” Sheryl Nance-Nash, AOL Daily Finance

“Gambling more of a problem in U.S. adults than drinking,” Kathleen Blanchard RN, eMaxHealth.com

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Potomac Casino: Snake Eyes

June 22, 2012

Potomac Casino: Snake Eyes

The deal for a huge casino 5 miles outside DC at Maryland’s National Harbor has gone sour. A state government working group advised against granting a license for the $800 million gambling joint on the banks of the Potomac in Prince Georges County. Five casinos have already been licensed by the state, and of them three are currently relieving customers of their cash.

National Harbor offers many advantages to a casino operation. It has water taxi service to Old Town Alexandria, a bunch of mediocre eateries and sufficient hotel rooms to accomodate high rollers and the hookers who love them. Casinos are 24/7 enterprises, and National Harbor’s Children Museum can provide daytime daycare for the kids of bored housewives busy gambling away the grocery money.

More:

“O’Malley slams delegates for backing out of casino deal,” Ben Giles, Washington Examiner

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