Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Let's All Make a Mistake

Wanna go in on a Powerball ticket? Tomorrow's jackpot is $500 million. The ticket costs $2.00, but if we get enough people, we could whittle that down to a fraction of a cent apiece, and then share the $327.4 million cash payout any number of ways, depending on who sues who for what. We're taking the cash payout, right? Obviously — we're not going to live forever! Unless money can buy you eternal life? Of course we could pool our resources and go nuts buying TWO tickets!? Anyway, this is a great plan, just ask these guys.

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I'm willing to forget my generally decent grasp of math and probability to buy a couple of tickets.


I like it though...@y


I was legitimately PO'ed when I missed out on Saturday's jackpot. I keep planning out what we'll do with the winnings, but since I'm an accountant they usually involve maximizing the gift tax allowances and starting up charitable trusts.


@Sorbee: I keep putting off learning about financial planning until I have $500 million or so to experiment with, so I'm with you.

Also, how does one buy a lottery ticket?


@laurel I actually have no idea. I need a personal assistant or something. Although then I probably wouldn't need the lottery.


@laurel - I have no idea and I'm too embarrassed to ask the gas station attendant to explain it to me.


@KeLynn You either take one of the lottery ticket slips that are next to the counter and fill it out—I'm sure it has an explanation written on it—or you can ask for a "quick pick," which means the machine randomly generates numbers for you.

Tuna Surprise


A crazy lady's guide to buying lotto tickets:

1. when buying embarassing things (lotto tickets, 40 oz beers, condoms) don't purchase solo. I never buy a lotto ticket without at least buying a candy bar or magazine. Then it makes the lotto ticket look like an after thought to an otherwise 'legitmate' shopping session.

2. For lotto tickets, as for "$10 [powerball/megamillions] quick pick." This way you get ten or five tickets depending on whether the tickets are $1 or $2 per ticket. But you wouldn't know which tickets are which prices so best to just cover your bases.

3. Ask someone else to buy for you. I told my sister I'd pitch in $10 to her lottery spree. Chances are I'd share with family anyway so this is a no brainer.

4. Buy tickets in a 'good karma' spot. Karma doesn't want the winning ticket to be sold in a fancy magazine shop in midtown manhattan. Try to get in a pool with recently laid off factory workers. Look for a lotto ticket in a place hit by the hurricane.

5. You usually have about a year to cash in your lotto ticket. If you win, the first thing you should do is take a picture of yourself with the winning ticket (including a close up of the ticket). Then put the ticket in a safe deposit box. Don't tell anyone you won.

6. Get a financial planner and spend a good deal of time planning for the money before you cash in.

7. Cash in.


@Sorbee @Tuna Surprise - thank you!


When I was a young child, my family won the lottery. Not like the Powerball or anything like that, not millions, but a very, very significant amount of money. It paid our way into a better neighborhood, nicer house, paid off all their car payments and whatever. It didn't make us rich, per se, but it certainly was a windfall.

So I have a weird relationship with the lottery. I know it's essentially a scam. I laugh at the "tax on people who aren't good at math" jokes. And yet. And yet.


@Emby: One's chances of winning the lottery are very very small, but they get exponentially better if you actually buy a ticket.

Lily Rowan

@Emby That's fantastic, and totally my dream. I never dream of untold millions, but dream of enough to pay off debts and put a good downpayment on a house all the time.

Not that I ever play Megamillions or whatever. Scratch cards are more fun!


@Lily Rowan I got really excited when I won $20 off a $2 scratch-off. Then I realized how much more than $20 I've probably spent on scratch-offs that didn't win.

My friend and I usually buy as many scratch-offs as we have dollars before we go to brunch in hopes of paying for said brunch. Hasn't worked out so far, but someday...someday!


@Emby I read a book that was (sort of) like this! The Rich Part of Life, by Jim Kokoris, and it is pretty funny, and kinda sweet, and still has not changed my mind that it would be nice to win the lottery.


I'm really prudish about lotteries and never buy tickets. At my last job, there was a guy who was really into playing the lottery and he organised a workplace lotto pool, which I refused to sign up for on the basis of some atavistic dislike of gambling. I was the only member of staff who wasn't signed up. And then I used to have nightmares that they'd win and all my former colleagues would go on a jamming cruise without me.


@Decca Boy, this story makes me sound like a diiiiiick.


@Decca I declined to by a ticket the last time the jackpot got huge in California (I think we don't get the really big lotteries other parts get?) and my coworker was like "You're gonna feel so stupid when we all quit and you have to work and the company closes down because no one will work here"


@garli Yes, the other part of my nightmare was that everyone would quit their job at the restaurant we worked in, and then use their money to eat in said restaurant every night while I, the sole remaining member of staff, had to cook the food and serve them. Those bastards better tip me well in my imaginary future.


@Decca Ha, that wouldn't be the case here (it's a small manufacturing firm) but I feel like it would have made a great story while collecting unemployment.


My office is going in on some tickets. Plan is to win, then everyone will quit. My plans for the money are: 1) kill off my parents' mortgage 2) write children's books 3) buy a nacho cheese machine.

Jane Marie

@lisma i seriously just read #1 as "kill off my parents"


@Jane Marie that's only if THEY win. jkjkjkjkjkjk. Serious JK.

fondue with cheddar

@lisma There's one flaw in your plan. You need to buy the nacho cheese machine first. It will definitely help you kill off the mortgage and write some books. Definitely.


@fondue with cheddar are we sure that that is a good plan? nacho cheese before book-writing and mortgage-killing?

fondue with cheddar

@lisma You buy the machine first so you can eat the nacho cheese while working on the mortgage and book, silly!

Nacho cheese is always the answer. Always.


@fondue with cheddar You're right.


I saw some couple on FB holding up a powerball ticket and telling people that they'd share the winnings with everyone who liked the photo. WHAT?!


I went out and bought lottery tickets for the second time in my life yesterday. Which meant I could play the game of "what would I do if I won" with myself in the car this morning. Pay off loans, buy a nice house on the harbor, yes; but then I am going to divide my time between donating money to progressive organizations and getting smashed with celebrities. (Also, dogs. All of the adopted dogs.)

fondue with cheddar

@area@twitter Don't forget dancing with Ira Glass.


We've got an office pool going on, and I figure it's fun to dream every now and then, so I put a couple of bucks in. My ex just told me his plan for the weekend is to "Win the lottery and get Mitt Romney rich."


@packedsuitcase ... but... Mitt Romney is already- ohhhh I get it.

fondue with cheddar

@packedsuitcase It's only Wednesday and he's already halfway there!


If I won the lottery maybe all 3 of my triplets could go to college!


Last night I dreamed I matched four numbers in the lottery and won almost a million dollars, and when I woke up I remembered them so I wrote 'em down. I'm gonna buy a ticket tonight, because clearly GOD WANTS ME TO (ALMOST) WIN. I'll write it up as the Best Time I Dreamed Two-Thirds of the Winning Numbers and Became an Almost-Millionaire, Which Is Totally Fine, I'm Not That Greedy.

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