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View Poll Results: Do you play the lottery?
Yes, regularly (more than once a week) 1 5.88%
Yes, sometimes/casually (no more than 2 tickets per month) 4 23.53%
Yes, when its a big jackpot 8 47.06%
Yes, only the scratch type 0 0%
Never 4 23.53%
Voters: 17. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 04-26-2013, 03:57 AM
JohnAddams JohnAddams is offline
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Question Anyone a Lotto Player?

Couple years back I started playing the lotto - a ticket every once in a while, monthly on average. I justified by telling myself, "you've got to be in it, to win it". Anyone else?

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Last edited by JohnAddams; 08-11-2015 at 12:18 AM.
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  #2  
Old 04-26-2013, 04:42 AM
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MatWiz MatWiz is offline
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Reminds me of a joke about a fella who kept praying and crying to God for years and years to let him win the lottery. It was that much that the angels were totally annoyed and started to suffer from work related stress disorder. That nagging and constant whining was intolerable and reached all corners of heavens. Finally they decided to confront God about it and told him, look God, with all due respect he is driving us crazy, make him win a lottery already.
Then God said, I want to, he is driving me nuts too, but he never buys a ticket!

I buy a ticket once in a few years, when I just feel like it.
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Last edited by MatWiz; 04-26-2013 at 04:43 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-26-2013, 04:59 AM
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gjwilson gjwilson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAddams View Post
Couple years back I started playing the lotto - a ticket every once in a while, monthly on average. I justified by telling myself, "you've got to be in it, to win it". Anyone else?

Your expected return, how much the odds tell you you will get back from every dollar wagered, from the Lotto is poor. It's worse than Black Jack or roulette and I believe worse than slot machines.

And people will love to tell you about how you are more likely to be killed by lighting etc.

However, there is a concept of differing values in these "exchanges". The value of knowing you could win (it the pleasure you get from it, dreaming etc) means that not spending the dollar yields a loss as well. Knowing you are "in it" increases your total expected return, even if you lose.

And in economics there is the concept of "positional good", something which has value because of the desirability by others, In group lottery pools, like the office pool, your $1 contribution to the 30 person office pool may buy something of more value than simply your 1/30 share in the winnings. Their value of the ability to dream about winning increases the lottery contribution's positional value.

Also, you don't have to worry about being jealous of everybody but you coming to the office driving a new ferrari. So, in that way, joining the office lottery is a lot like insurance. Insurance is a "losing bet" as well. In the long run, the house always wins, but you don't see people saying "you have as much chance as getting hit by lighting as cashing in on the hit by lighting insurance" (which would be a dept of redundancy dept statement)

But on a strictly odds and expected cash return, you have to be in it to lose money.

(So I have a single ticket subscription)
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  #4  
Old 04-26-2013, 04:42 PM
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Paul335i Paul335i is online now
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Lotteries are simply taxes on those with poor math skills.
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  #5  
Old 04-26-2013, 05:26 PM
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Lotteries are like Pascal's Wager - I know I'm not going to win, but why not play a tiny amount every now and then just to dream big. I play probably $10/year at most. Its been years since I've even won $2.
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  #6  
Old 04-26-2013, 08:15 PM
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I designed a little spread sheet using previous winning numbers over a 12 month period and then trying to predict which numbers would be more likely to win based on rankings. I had some success but only to a point. I could hit two or three numbers pretty consistently but that was about it.
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  #7  
Old 04-26-2013, 09:50 PM
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Several years back, I checked the newspaper for a ticket I bought. I'll look at the paper, get the first 3 numbers in my head then look at my ticket, and then go back to the paper for the next 3. In this case, the first 3 matched. Good Lord, the adrenaline rush was palpable. Turns out only those 3 matched ($5 payoff) bit it did give me a glimpse of what a rush it would be to win the whole thing. That's why I buy maybe $10 worth a year.

Lately I've been buy a $2 scratcher once or twice a month. I should check but I'm guessing the odds are better as the max payout is $1,000 a week for 25 years or a $750K lump sum payout. I never buy the power ball. Odds are just too long.
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  #8  
Old 04-27-2013, 05:04 AM
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I only join if it's a big group at work, hedging my bets to make sure they don't win.
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2013, 05:44 AM
Balzac Balzac is offline
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Of course I play. It's the only way I'll be able to afford a new 5er. Not to mention being a major part of my retirement plan.
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  #10  
Old 04-27-2013, 06:01 AM
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Paul335i Paul335i is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FIA View Post
I designed a little spread sheet using previous winning numbers over a 12 month period and then trying to predict which numbers would be more likely to win based on rankings. I had some success but only to a point. I could hit two or three numbers pretty consistently but that was about it.
If you took a statistics course in college, you'd realize that previous winning numbers are not more likely to be picked. Each drawing is totally independent from previous drawings.
AFAIK, a "system" has only been successful on lottery scratch tickets:

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/01/ff_lottery/all/1
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  #11  
Old 04-27-2013, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul335i View Post
If you took a statistics course in college, you'd realize that previous winning numbers are not more likely to be picked. Each drawing is totally independent from previous drawings.
AFAIK, a "system" has only been successful on lottery scratch tickets:

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/01/ff_lottery/all/1

I did and I do.
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  #12  
Old 04-27-2013, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul335i View Post
If you took a statistics course in college, you'd realize that previous winning numbers are not more likely to be picked. Each drawing is totally independent from previous drawings.
AFAIK, a "system" has only been successful on lottery scratch tickets:

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/01/ff_lottery/all/1
Stats relies on a perfectly random number generator - call me skeptical but while there are physical balls being drawn and the numbers show a slant towards certain numbers coming up more frequently, I am inclined to believe that real world biases are creeping in - and although extremely minor I don't believe that biases can happen to some extent.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:55 AM
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I only join if it's a big group at work, hedging my bets to make sure they don't win.
Imagine being the only one that wouldn't chip in. If they won, they'd all quit and the cheap ba$tard would be stuck taking on all their duties. Suicide would be inevitable.
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  #14  
Old 04-27-2013, 11:17 AM
brian5 brian5 is offline
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Of course I play. It's the only way I'll be able to afford a new 5er. Not to mention being a major part of my retirement plan.
I agree
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  #15  
Old 04-27-2013, 05:29 PM
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Usually about a dollar a month.
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2015, 05:22 AM
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If it's above 200mil I'll definitely buy a single ticket. I mean why not?
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  #17  
Old 07-02-2015, 05:38 AM
Autoputzer Autoputzer is offline
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I bought $2,513 in Florida Lotto, Power Ball, and Mega Millions tickets in 2014.

But, I run the office pool of about 25 This pool started about 20 years ago. I ran a shop of four technicians. They had a pool. Once, they asked me if I wanted to play even though they hated engineers. Then once it was my turn to buy tickets. I'd have to collect our shop's mail from an office building a few blocks away. Doing that once, I made a lap of the cubicle farm over there and asked if anybody wanted into the pool. I ended up with about 20 more people. From that point on, I ran the pool. It eventually got to the point that I had three collectors in other buildings who would bring me fat envelopes of cash from about 100 people.

Years ago, I moved to another job in a remote area where I'm not allowed to have visitors. I told everybody that the pool would continue, but everything will be done by e-mail, and paying in advance by mail. Most off the people dropped out, and we now only have the 25 people left. People needed to have that human interaction when they played, or they were hiding their participation from their spouse.

We only play when the odds are sort of in our favor, when the jackpot is greater than the ticket price divided by the chances of winning the jackpot. That doesn't account for taxes, lump sum payout reduction, or the chances of having other jackpot winners. If I accounted for all those factors, we'd never play.

The owner of the store where I buy the tickets joined the pool. He also owns a hotel. His commission on the ticket sales pays his for his $2 contribution.

We've won four numbers (~$75, ~ 1/1500 probability) a few times.

Florida Lotto is by far the best deal, based on jackpots and the probability of winning. But, nobody plays it anymore, going with Power Ball and Mega Millions instead.

Under Florida Lottery rules, the person who buys the tickets for a group decides it the payouts are in a reduced lump sum, or over 30 years. If our individual winning are so large that we'd still be in the 39.6% tax bracket even over 30 years, we'd do the lump sum. But, if the individual winnings are small, then I'd go for the 30 year payout. If anybody would want a lump sum... "call 877 Cash Now... 877 Cash Now!"

In a lot of respects, what we're really paying for is a really nice day dream, which evaporates instantly when I check the numbers the following morning. But, there's always next time.

Florida Lotto's jackpot is $23M this Saturday. We play when it hits $25M. So, we'll likely play next week if nobody wins this Saturday. Our Lotto plays can go on for weeks on end with nobody winning.

Last edited by Autoputzer; 07-02-2015 at 05:43 AM.
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  #18  
Old 07-02-2015, 05:42 AM
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If the jackpot is such that the expected payout is greater than the purchase price, then I'll buy a ticket. That being said, there's an extra step of applying a little bit of game theory to reduce your chances of picking numbers that others are also likely to pick.
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  #19  
Old 07-02-2015, 06:48 AM
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I agree with you. This post is truly inspiring. I like your post and everything you share with us is current and very informative, I want to bookmark the page so I can return here from you that you have done a fantastic job. SPAM LINK REMOVED
Off topic - please ban this guy. He's been posting nonsense and spamming the forum with his junk hyperlinks.
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  #20  
Old 07-02-2015, 07:32 AM
F32Fleet F32Fleet is offline
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I usually buy 2-4 tickets per week whenever the Jackpot gets close to the odds of winning the grand prize. Maybe $50/yr?
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  #21  
Old 07-02-2015, 08:22 AM
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After years of trying, I got two numbers last week. Two numbers doesn't pay, but its the most I've seen in a long time.
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  #22  
Old 07-02-2015, 11:45 AM
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No.
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  #23  
Old 07-02-2015, 01:36 PM
noego noego is online now
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Sure, I play. Where I live it's part of financial planning - the Redneck Retirement Plan.
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