City-Data Forum How the lottery is a tax on the stupid. (pay, million, vehicle)
 User Name Remember Me Password [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.

09-28-2011, 06:39 PM
 Location: USA 2,580 posts, read 3,433,349 times Reputation: 2220

This is a funny little article from a printed publication from a few years back that I'm copying here, just thought I'd share.

How the lottery is a tax on the stupid

This weekend's Powerball jackpot is up to \$315 million this weekend. It's likely just as many tickets will be sold all throughout America, so someone is surely going to win right? Not necessarily. The odds of winning Powerball are 1 in 195,000,000 and that doesn't sound like impossible odds considering that is a 9-digit number, and that number is miniscule compared to our Federal government's debt. People who are educated when it comes to mathematics and statistics know how long the odds are, and such people most likely wouldn't even waste a roll of 100 pennies to buy a Powerball ticket. Thus, the lottery is essentially an unnecessary tax on the stupid. To put things in perspective, I've dug up some stats of incredibly unlikely things that might happen in one's life that are more likely to happen than winning Powerball:

A person is more likely to:

Be struck by lightning 4 times in one week and survive each strike.
Be mauled to death by a Polar Bear while wandering through the Mojave Desert.
Drown in a puddle of water 1" deep.
Have their vehicle be struck by a meteorite while driving down the interstate.
Survive a fall from a 12-story building.
Die from a bite of a common garter snake.
Hit 100 consecutive half-court basketball shots.
Make all (18) hole in one shots on an 18-hole golf course.
Find a 3,000 carat rough diamond while digging a diamond field.

So, are you still feeling lucky? Instead of buying that lottery ticket, you're better off to invest in some good golf clubs & some lessons, and then trying to hit 18 hole in ones. If you can do it, the money you could earn from fame, notoriety, product endorsements, and winnings from PGA tournaments from a career in golf could easily exceed the amount of money you could win on Powerball.

__________________________________________________

The 18 hole in one stat is impressive, I wonder if anyone has ever pulled that feat off!

09-28-2011, 07:35 PM
 Location: Sierra Vista, AZ 16,116 posts, read 20,145,602 times Reputation: 8204
Not for the winners. Just think of how quickly a National Lottery would pay off the deficit

09-28-2011, 08:52 PM
 15,847 posts, read 8,428,912 times Reputation: 6275
Quote:
 Originally Posted by zoomzoom3 This is a funny little article from a printed publication from a few years back that I'm copying here, just thought I'd share. How the lottery is a tax on the stupid This weekend's Powerball jackpot is up to \$315 million this weekend. It's likely just as many tickets will be sold all throughout America, so someone is surely going to win right? Not necessarily. The odds of winning Powerball are 1 in 195,000,000 and that doesn't sound like impossible odds considering that is a 9-digit number, and that number is miniscule compared to our Federal government's debt. People who are educated when it comes to mathematics and statistics know how long the odds are, and such people most likely wouldn't even waste a roll of 100 pennies to buy a Powerball ticket. Thus, the lottery is essentially an unnecessary tax on the stupid. To put things in perspective, I've dug up some stats of incredibly unlikely things that might happen in one's life that are more likely to happen than winning Powerball: A person is more likely to: Be struck by lightning 4 times in one week and survive each strike. Be mauled to death by a Polar Bear while wandering through the Mojave Desert. Drown in a puddle of water 1" deep. Have their vehicle be struck by a meteorite while driving down the interstate. Survive a fall from a 12-story building. Die from a bite of a common garter snake. Hit 100 consecutive half-court basketball shots. Make all (18) hole in one shots on an 18-hole golf course. Find a 3,000 carat rough diamond while digging a diamond field. Get beheaded by a samurai-sword wielding maniac while at the c-store counter buying your ticket. So, are you still feeling lucky? Instead of buying that lottery ticket, you're better off to invest in some good golf clubs & some lessons, and then trying to hit 18 hole in ones. If you can do it, the money you could earn from fame, notoriety, product endorsements, and winnings from PGA tournaments from a career in golf could easily exceed the amount of money you could win on Powerball. __________________________________________________ The 18 hole in one stat is impressive, I wonder if anyone has ever pulled that feat off!

I 100% agree with you that it is foolish to waste your money away on the lottery, because the odds are severely against you.

However, your comparisons seem to be way off. However, remote the odds are...people "do" actually win the powerball and several times a year this happens. Has anyone ever really been hit by lightning 4 times in one week and let alone survived? Has anyone ever in history made 18 straight hole in ones on a standard golf course?

09-28-2011, 09:26 PM
 3,111 posts, read 6,741,089 times Reputation: 4244
There's nothing wrong with buying a few tickets with realistic expectations. However, when people who have very little blow hundreds of dollars, then it is stupid.

09-28-2011, 09:33 PM
 Location: NJ 17,579 posts, read 38,288,152 times Reputation: 16098
It is a frigging dollar to play. Who cares?

09-28-2011, 09:39 PM
 Location: In a chartreuse microbus 3,844 posts, read 5,103,670 times Reputation: 7965
There are several lesser dollar amounts to be won on a powerball play, and I think that's the mindset that most have when playing. The odds of hitting one of the other smaller prizes is greater.

09-28-2011, 10:10 PM
 4,044 posts, read 5,941,719 times Reputation: 3819
Nobody thinks twice when they routinely throw away more than 1 dollar on plasticky, disposable, dollar-store stuff that is guaranteed to be thrown away a couple of hours tops after purchase.

The choice of buying a lottery ticket when you can easily afford the loss is way more rational than busting money on all sorts of unnecessary junk - which most Americans do consistently every week.

09-29-2011, 12:00 AM
 Location: The North 4,962 posts, read 8,675,201 times Reputation: 3831
People who rant against gambling usually just don't get it: People play for entertainment. The odds are not in te players favor and 3-5% who gamble find some or lots of trouble doing it, but for goodness sakes let the 95% who play responsibly have fun with it.

09-29-2011, 12:21 AM
 1,592 posts, read 2,861,864 times Reputation: 2124
Living in America is a tax on the stupid.

09-29-2011, 12:35 AM
 5,470 posts, read 8,160,530 times Reputation: 7274
Quote:
 Originally Posted by michiganmoon I 100% agree with you that it is foolish to waste your money away on the lottery, because the odds are severely against you. However, your comparisons seem to be way off. However, remote the odds are...people "do" actually win the powerball and several times a year this happens. Has anyone ever really been hit by lightning 4 times in one week and let alone survived? Has anyone ever in history made 18 straight hole in ones on a standard golf course?

Not in one week:
Roy Sullivan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I've played the Lotto maybe half a dozen times.

just when a 'Group' was going in. Not that I think I'll win, but I don't want to like that poor B@stard in New York who held out one week and that time they won!
 Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over \$68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned. Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.