- I haven’t heard from my kids since my daughter arrived in China on Wednesday to visit her brother. I’ve heard that there is trouble with email traffic between hear and China, so that’s probably the reason. I’ve also heard that the Chinese government is deliberately slowing down such traffic, especially gmail traffic. I don’t know if that’s true, but I do know my son is using a gmail account.
- Mega Millions is $312 million (or so) tonight. I know the odds are something like 175 million to one against, but I play anyway. Why? I pay taxes on some things that amuse me, but the lottery is the only tax I pay that amuses me all by itself. Knowing better than most people how small my chance of winning is, I like to tease my wife about how cheap I’d be if I won, and that running joke with my wife amuses me too. A Mega Millions ticket is also cheaper than a lot of other things that amuse me. If I buy a ticket in the upper deck, and go to a baseball game by myself it’ll wind up costing me $60 for the ticket, parking and food as opposed to a buck for the lottery ticket. My trip to Las Vegas last October cost a lot more than that; so did tickets to the shows, and restaurants we patronized while we were there.
- And speaking of major league baseball, opening day is less than a week away
- My wife, Saint Karen (she has to be a saint to put up with me), came home today and told me she had signed up for the office lottery pool. This makes sense, because in the extremely unlikely event that they do win, why would she want to be the only one left in the office
- I told Saint Karen that all she has to do to join my personal lottery pool is remain married to me. So far, so good.
- I absolutely hate people who make grand plans to give away huge sums of money before they win the huge lottery. Because I know how little chance I have of winning, I have a much simpler plan. If I win, I’m going to keep it.
- Anyone who bemoaned the passing of fifties music from commercial radio should take note that sixties music is also disappearing slowly from the airwaves. It was inevitable. The reason is that advertising professionals believe older people are less influenced by commercials. Radio is funded by commercials, so the people who buy the commercials want to reach a younger audience they can easily convince to buy their products.
- If you like music, you should collect what you like. That way, it won’t bother you a lot when the music you likes isn’t played on the radio anymore.
1 thought on “Things I Know”
The odds of wining are roughly one in 175 million no matter what the Mega Millions jackpot is. You’re right that your lottery has better odds, but that’s not the point. If your lottery becomes popular, it will change your life, but it will never change anyone else’s. I play these big lotteries, but I don’t waste a lot of money on them. It’s voluntary and as long as I don’t spend money I need for something else, there’s no harm in it for me. It’s pretty cheap entertainment. It would be nice if we could stop people who spend all their money on lottery tickets, but it is a free country.
I entertain myself by kidding my wife about how cheap I’d be if I won, and if I win, I have a good plan for the money; I’ll keep it!
You and I are both more aware than most people of how poor the odds really are. Here are two examples in case anyone else reads this.
Water weighs around eight or nine pounds a gallon. If I had 175 million gallons of distilled water and I add eight or nine pounds of salt to it, I’d still have distilled water, not salt water.
In accounting, there’s something called a material difference. If the difference isn’t material, you can ignore it. So, if you won $319 million, balanced the checking account you kept it in and found it was a nickel off, that’s an immaterial difference and you can ignore it. Why do I bring that up? Because there’s no material difference in your odds of winning the big prize in Power Ball or Mega Millions if you buy a ticket as opposed to not buying one. One out of 175 million is so close to zero out of 175 million that you can safely ignore the difference, unless, of course, you do win. If that happens, I suggest you collect the prize. I know I would if it happened to me.
And let’s remember that the office pool in Albany that did win usually has eight, not seven players. The eighth guy didn’t play in that winning drawing because he said he didn’t feel lucky that day. He was right!
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