Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Curmudgeon has a Lotto explaining to do

I don't usually buy lottery tickets. I don't like the odds. Statistics have shown that you have a better chance of being hit by lighting -- twice -- than of ever winning the Lotto.

Statistics and statisticians baffle me. What's "better" about getting struck by lightning twice?

I buy raffle tickets at church, of course. I got $50 once from the Holy Name Men's Club monthly drawing. Another time I won a bottle of wine from the Council of Catholic Women's annual raffle. It had a screw top. Probably had a retail value of 79¢ (without paper bag). Gee, thanks, ladies.

I just finished buying as many "Hoopsmania" tickets for Youngest Son's baseball fundraiser as I could afford. I got $100 once from the "Footballmania" tickets he sold for the football fundraiser. But that was a couple of years ago.

The point is that one has to kick into fundraisers for church and school anyway. If prizes are awarded, that's a bonus. Except possibly in the case of the CCW bottle of wine.

But the Lotto is different. You can't win if you don't play, according to the advertising campaign, but mathematics proves that almost everyone who plays doesn't win either. And, despite claims that Lotto money helps out local schools, the truth is that the money goes to the sponsoring states. Buying Lotto tickets is just paying an additional, voluntary tax.

On the other hand... when the jackpot gets high enough, I overcome my aversion to giving the state money and throw a few bucks in the pot. (I explained why in January.)

Well, the Mega Millions jackpot is growing again.

It was just over $200 million for Friday's drawing, so I bought $5 in quick-picks on my way home.

Long Suffering Spouse was not amused.

"We don't have the money for that," she reminded me (unnecessarily).

And, of course, I didn't win the jackpot Friday. Nobody did.

Now the jackpot is up to $244 million for tonight's drawing. Even after taxes, that would be enough to pay off my credit cards. So I bought another five quick-picks.

I admitted as much to Long Suffering Spouse last night.

"You did what?" she said.

"But it's for $244 million," I said.

"Well, I'll probably forgive you," she said, softening a little. There was a pause. "If you win."


Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

I guess you are going to tell her about your purchase plan for this Friday's drawing.