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  #1  
Old 11-27-2012, 04:38 PM
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You, win the $500M Powerball jackpot? It's not happening
By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue November 27, 2012

(CNN) -- Last March, when the people of America were drooling at the thought of winning a record $656 million Mega Millions jackpot, we poured an icy bucket of mathematical reality over your head: You weren't going to win.

And you didn't. Three winning tickets were sold, but you weren't involved. It was never going to happen. As we wrote then, you stood a better chance at hitting two consecutive holes in one on a par-3 golf hole than winning that jackpot.

Now, with a record $500 million Powerball jackpot up for grabs on Wednesday, we figured it was a great time to, once again, dash your dreams. We know, we know -- someone will win at least a share of the prize, if not Wednesday, then in some subsequent drawing. But it won't be you.

The chance of a ticket winning a Powerball jackpot is 1 in 175,223,510 (slightly better than the chance of winning a Mega Millions jackpot, which is 1 in 175,711,536). Here are a few unlikely scenarios that, we're sorry to say, are much more likely than you taking home this jackpot.

From the Harvard School of Public Health:

-- Dying from a bee sting: 1 in 6.1 million.

-- Dying from being struck by lightning: 1 in 3 million.

From U.S. Hole in One, which insures golf prizes for holes in one:

-- An amateur golfer making a hole in one on a par-3 hole: 1 in 12,500.

-- A golfer hitting a hole in one on consecutive par-3 holes: 1 in about 156 million.

From a 2011 State Farm study on collisions between vehicles and deer:

-- Hitting a deer with a vehicle in Hawaii, the state where State Farm says deer-vehicle collisions are least likely: 1 in 6,267.

From the National Weather Service:

-- Being struck by lightning over an 80-year lifetime: 1 in 10,000.

From the Florida Museum of Natural History, based on U.S. beach
injury statistics:

-- Drowning and other beach-related fatalities: 1 in 2 million.

-- Being attacked by a shark: 1 in 11.5 million.
So, fogetaboutit.
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2012, 04:52 PM
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That article glosses over one important detail - three people (or groups) DID buy winning tickets of that monster jackpot. So I prefer to view the odds as 1:infinity instead of 0. There's no point buying more than one ticket because it doesn't change your odds, but its still fun to dream for a couple days.

The jackpot, if you take a lump sum, after taxes is a bit under $189 million. If you take the long term payout, your first payment around $5.3million and goes up 4% per year for 30 years.
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  #3  
Old 11-27-2012, 05:12 PM
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Fortunately, I don't need the lottery because I just received word from someone in Nigeria that I inherited a vast fortune from a random person who was kind enough to list ME as his beneficiary.
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  #4  
Old 11-27-2012, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 1Dreamer View Post
Fortunately, I don't need the lottery because I just received word from someone in Nigeria that I inherited a vast fortune from a random person who was kind enough to list ME as his beneficiary.
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  #5  
Old 11-27-2012, 07:17 PM
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Mein Auto: '02 530i
Chances- 1:175,223,510
Jackpot- $500,000,000
Cost of 1 ticket- $2

Why isn't anyone cashing in on this?
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  #6  
Old 11-27-2012, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Dreamer View Post
Fortunately, I don't need the lottery because I just received word from someone in Nigeria that I inherited a vast fortune from a random person who was kind enough to list ME as his beneficiary.
Me too, in fact, I almost get one every other day, if I add them all up, I'd be a billionaire
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  #7  
Old 11-27-2012, 08:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwsqbm View Post
That article glosses over one important detail - three people (or groups) DID buy winning tickets of that monster jackpot. So I prefer to view the odds as 1:infinity instead of 0. There's no point buying more than one ticket because it doesn't change your odds, but its still fun to dream for a couple days.

The jackpot, if you take a lump sum, after taxes is a bit under $189 million. If you take the long term payout, your first payment around $5.3million and goes up 4% per year for 30 years.
How come you think buying a 2nd ticket doesn't increase your odds? 2 tickets would be double the odds of winning - unless you're dumb enough to buy the same numbers...
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  #8  
Old 11-27-2012, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by 1Dreamer View Post
Fortunately, I don't need the lottery because I just received word from someone in Nigeria that I inherited a vast fortune from a random person who was kind enough to list ME as his beneficiary.
you too?

what's the chance of that happening to both of us?


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  #9  
Old 11-28-2012, 05:01 AM
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Originally Posted by cwsqbm View Post
The jackpot, if you take a lump sum, after taxes is a bit under $189 million. If you take the long term payout, your first payment around $5.3million and goes up 4% per year for 30 years.
If the annuity grows at 4.00% - then to give you $500 M over 30 years, the first payment would be $8,915,049.56 and growing 4.00% you get your $500M over time.

But... you need to work out your taxes yourself... top nominal rate at the fed is 35.00% - TODAY - remember, the govt. wants to put that up in some way - maybe nominal rates go to 80% as we've heard some here suggest - at that time - would taking the annuity be a smart idea? I don't think so.. I reckon taking the cash option gives you...

To simplify - I am using $1 as taxable at the highest rate - yes, I know you get deductions - but I'm going "worst case" and then some on tax liability...


$325,800,000.00 lump sum
($114,030,000.00) in fed taxes @ 35.00%
in CO our income tax is 4.63% of the fed liability - easy to calculate
($5,279,589.00) in CO state taxes

Leaving a bankable $ amount of $206,490,411.00

Now - assuming tax rates go up by a lot - at year 3 - say fed taxes go to 60% - state remains the same - your net is now "only" $240,270,415.00 over a 30 year period.

Would you rather have $206M now - or $240M over time? Do you think you can grow your big chunk to more than $240M in 30 years? I bet almost anyone could.

Obviously you would be contacting a financial adviser - but I personally think $206M in your family's hands now would be the way to go... annuity seems to be quite a bad idea in an uncertain tax scenario - most advisers would also say take the lump sum from what I've read in the past...

If I stop posting - it's because I won with my 2 ticket "investment in fun and dreaming"... coz I reckon you wouldn't see me for dust - I'd be on a plane headed to sun, sand and scuba diving... for maybe 6 months to a year, I'd do nothing but have fun and let it sink in...
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  #10  
Old 11-28-2012, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixreborn View Post
Chances- 1:175,223,510
Jackpot- $500,000,000
Cost of 1 ticket- $2

Why isn't anyone cashing in on this?
(1) time - its takes a lot of time to buy all the numbers. You'd need pre-filled out cards to buy all the numbers. What it then comes down to is man power.
(2) money - someone would be need to be rich in the first place to buy all the numbers.
(3) odds of others having a winning ticket and taking 1/2 (or 2/3, or 3/4) of the winning amount. Historically, when jackpots get truly insane like this, there are multiple winners.
(4) taxes - the ultimate reality check. It'd cost over $350m to buy all the tickets, but after taxes if you take the lump sum, you'd net less than $200m. If you look at the long term payout, it'd be better just to invest the $350m.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wyb View Post
How come you think buying a 2nd ticket doesn't increase your odds? 2 tickets would be double the odds of winning - unless you're dumb enough to buy the same numbers...
Because 2:infinity is equal to 1:infinity. While technically the odds aren't infinite, they're so high that buy two tickets (or two hundred) doesn't make a meaningful difference. Also, even if you win that second ticket was still a waste of money since only one of your tickets wins. I get to dream just as big buying only one ticket as a guy buying $100 worth, because I know in my heart I'm not going to win. It's not gambling if you know you're going to lose.
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  #11  
Old 11-28-2012, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by cwsqbm View Post
(1) time - its takes a lot of time to buy all the numbers. You'd need pre-filled out cards to buy all the numbers. What it then comes down to is man power.
(2) money - someone would be need to be rich in the first place to buy all the numbers.
(3) odds of others having a winning ticket and taking 1/2 (or 2/3, or 3/4) of the winning amount. Historically, when jackpots get truly insane like this, there are multiple winners.
(4) taxes - the ultimate reality check. It'd cost over $350m to buy all the tickets, but after taxes if you take the lump sum, you'd net less than $200m. If you look at the long term payout, it'd be better just to invest the $350m.




Because 2:infinity is equal to 1:infinity. While technically the odds aren't infinite, they're so high that buy two tickets (or two hundred) doesn't make a meaningful difference. Also, even if you win that second ticket was still a waste of money since only one of your tickets wins. I get to dream just as big buying only one ticket as a guy buying $100 worth, because I know in my heart I'm not going to win. It's not gambling if you know you're going to lose.
well I take your point about it not increasing your odd in any meaningful way - but technically buying a 2nd ticket increases your chances two-fold... and yes, twice next to nothing, is still next to nothing...
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  #12  
Old 11-28-2012, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by wyb View Post

Obviously you would be contacting a financial adviser - but I personally think $206M in your family's hands now would be the way to go... annuity seems to be quite a bad idea in an uncertain tax scenario - most advisers would also say take the lump sum from what I've read in the past...
It is the uncertainty of time versus the certainty of a plan. Couldn't imagine something bad happening to the winner and him thinking about the remaining payments that he may not see!
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  #13  
Old 11-28-2012, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by 1Dreamer View Post
Fortunately, I don't need the lottery because I just received word from someone in Nigeria that I inherited a vast fortune from a random person who was kind enough to list ME as his beneficiary.
Yeah, that sounds a little sketchy. Not at all like the email I got today where the minister of the "African Union" wanted to to send me $ 285K as an apology for the previous scams perpetrated by nefarious individuals within the "African Union".
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  #14  
Old 11-28-2012, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenixreborn View Post
Chances- 1:175,223,510
Jackpot- $500,000,000
Cost of 1 ticket- $2

Why isn't anyone cashing in on this?
Would you invest your money with me if I promised a $0.85 return on a $2.00 investment? If so, let me know. [Actually, at $550 Million now, the return is $1.14, which is certainly better!]

(That being said, I'll still pick up a damned ticket on my way home, just because. )


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Originally Posted by wyb View Post
well I take your point about it not increasing your odd in any meaningful way - but technically buying a 2nd ticket increases your chances two-fold... and yes, twice next to nothing, is still next to nothing...
And 175 Million is nowhere near infinity.


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Originally Posted by Bombay Jay View Post
It is the uncertainty of time versus the certainty of a plan. Couldn't imagine something bad happening to the winner and him thinking about the remaining payments that he may not see!
Bingo! No person in their right mind would take the annuity option. The annuity always favors the lottery, which is why in the State of Texas (and New Jersey) it is the default choice (unless you state otherwise while buying the ticket). Don't run the numbers, run with common sense. (Though even running the numbers properly should convince you.)
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You will rue this day, RUE THIS DAY

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  #15  
Old 11-29-2012, 06:48 AM
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Considering I am going to give them my $2 and know I wont win..I am considering a charitable contribution... and writing it off on my taxes!
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:12 AM
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It happened to one lucky person in Arizona and one in MO. They would split the jackpot.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by cwinter View Post
And 175 Million is nowhere near infinity.
To most people it is. Its more money that than the average person, and all their family and friends combined, will see in a life time.
10:1 - don't bet on it, but don't be surprised by a win
100:1 - steep odds, but you might win.
1000:1 - odds are you know someone that knows the winner
10000:1 - only one in a medium sized town

past that, most people can't comprehend so it might as well be infinite. Its about psychology, not math.

As for my powerball ticket, as usual, I don't have a single matching number.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:21 AM
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Lotteries are a tax on people who didn't do well in math in high school. In California, I read that about half of the jackpot winners were on some sort of welfare, so one can conclude that about half of the tickets are being bought with money that came from the state in the first place. Beats up a little on the idea that lotteries painlessly raise revenue.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by cwsqbm View Post
To most people it is. Its more money that than the average person, and all their family and friends combined, will see in a life time.
10:1 - don't bet on it, but don't be surprised by a win
100:1 - steep odds, but you might win.
1000:1 - odds are you know someone that knows the winner
10000:1 - only one in a medium sized town

past that, most people can't comprehend so it might as well be infinite. Its about psychology, not math.

As for my powerball ticket, as usual, I don't have a single matching number.
The lottery is about math though, not psychology.

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Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
Lotteries are a tax on people who didn't do well in math in high school. In California, I read that about half of the jackpot winners were on some sort of welfare, so one can conclude that about half of the tickets are being bought with money that came from the state in the first place. Beats up little on the idea that lotteries painlessly raise revenue.
Now those are some BOLD statistics there, my friend! You're ready for prime time television, I think.
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
Lotteries are a tax on people who didn't do well in math in high school. In California, I read that about half of the jackpot winners were on some sort of welfare, so one can conclude that about half of the tickets are being bought with money that came from the state in the first place. Beats up little on the idea that lotteries painlessly raise revenue.
Bingo! One of the nicer things I've heard lotteries called are a poor mans tax.
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:01 PM
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We have a winner(s)
http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012...l-tickets?lite
Quote:
Missouri lottery officials announced Thursday that one of the Powerball tickets worth $293.7 million was sold at a Trex Mart in Dearborn, Mo. And Arizona officials said the other winning ticket in the $587.5 million jackpot was sold at the 4 Sons Food Store in Fountain Hills, Ariz., adding that no one had come forward to claim the prize yet.
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  #22  
Old 11-29-2012, 06:38 PM
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i won 14 dollars...that's almost a million, ain't it?


and no doubt the winners are consulting with lawyers and financial people to try to reduce the amount of money that gets taken out in taxes.



as for million dollar lotto winners that go bankrupt, or whatever, i think it's similar to million dollar athletes who die poor and in ill health. they were never taught how to manage their money when they had it, and lived like it was a never ending source of income.



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Old 11-29-2012, 07:04 PM
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The lottery is about math though, not psychology.
Only if you play to win, which has been shown here to be a foolish thing. If you play to dream, it's a bit fun for the occasional $2.

On the other side, there's psychology involved in determining what the odds should be, the size of the prizes that attract people, how people buying huge amounts of tickets when the jackpot is huge, etc. Math is just a tool in figuring out the optimum payout for the house (in this case, the government).
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:10 PM
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Now those are some BOLD statistics there, my friend! You're ready for prime time television, I think.
Bold?! Define 'bold.' I have an approximate understanding of probability and I submit that my conclusion is sound. I can't tell you whether or not half of CA state lottery winners were on welfare when they bought the ticket(s). It wouldn't surprise me. People who buy 10, 20 and more tickets at a go are perhaps on the edge of desperation.
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Bingo! One of the nicer things I've heard lotteries called are a poor mans tax.
Now here's a man who recognizes good sense when he hears it.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:18 PM
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Only if you play to win, which has been shown here to be a foolish thing. If you play to dream, it's a bit fun for the occasional $2.

On the other side, there's psychology involved in determining what the odds should be, the size of the prizes that attract people, how people buying huge amounts of tickets when the jackpot is huge, etc. Math is just a tool in figuring out the optimum payout for the house (in this case, the government).
I would guess I've averaged maybe 10 tickets a year for some time. I liked an old guy who ran a grocery near my house and I used to buy them there for the delicious fantasy of my winning the lotto and him getting the merchant bonus - not tiny I gather, low 6 figures IIRC - and us celebrating together. Didn't happen but one time when I was checking my ticket by the newspaper, I spot memorized the first 3 numbers on my ticket, and they matched the first 3 in the paper. Holy crap, my heart started beating, I looked back to my ticket, but yes, that's right, you're wrong, I the second 3 did not match. That was some kind of rush, I'm almost ashamed to admit. I wonder what it would feel like to actually win.
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