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Old 2005-10-21, 10:41   #1

22×5×157 Posts
Thumbs down Lottery suspicious

Judd Gregg, from NH did NOT just win the powerball lottery! $800,000
I dont believe it for a second. The probability is just to astronomical.
This lottery is likely to be fixed, and they were just talking about fixing the lottery, on the radio the other day. No-way does this compute.
I'm open to a possible quantum explanation, due to the unlikelyhood,
but nothing makes me sicker than someone that's already rich, getting richer.

BTW the number 31 has been coming up way... way... way to often.
I'm just ranting.
Shane F.
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Old 2005-10-25, 16:16   #2
E_tron's Avatar
Sep 2002
Austin, TX

3×11×17 Posts

the lottery is a scam anyway. States make gambling illegal, but for some reason "lottery" isn't gambling.
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Old 2005-10-25, 18:24   #3
JHagerson's Avatar
May 2005
Naperville, IL, USA

199 Posts

The Lottery: A voluntary tax on poor, mathematically ignorant people.
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Old 2005-10-26, 06:23   #4
Peter Nelson
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Oct 2004

232 Posts

If your lottery permits it, someone rich could increase their chances of winning by buying lots of tickets (therefore the probability of the rich person winning would be greater than the probability of a poor person winning).

In our country there are now several established lotteries although I my self do not participate.

When I studied a little game theory, there is actually a rational case for gambling ie to lose ยฃ1 would not make a big difference to your life but to win ยฃ1m would.

Our "national lottery" (UK) collects a proportion of the takings and donates them to funds who donate it to "good causes" like charities, arts projects, and maybe soon the Olympic London 2012 funding. Of course at the moment the NL is run on a commercial basis with a profit taken out (Richard Branson offered to do it not for profit but was turned down in favour of the incumbent operator), and also the government taxes the tickets (betting tax?) so they get some of the money too. What's left goes to the prize fund.

I don't think this "good" balances the "bad" of taxing the poor or stupid. There are also social problems when people suddenly come into a lot of money they are not used to handling.

Not so bad in my view are "raffle ticket" type things where the MAJORITY of the takings fund a good cause because it is then more of a donation. The prizes like a cake or CD are then a "token" prize for having participated. The chance of winning the raffle is proportional to the number of tickets purchased (therefore proportionate to donation size).

Interestingly, there is a form of gambling which has been legalised longer than our lottery, and that is national savings "Premium Bonds" here which helps directly fund the treasury. It's a way of lending to our government so that they dont need to borrow as much on international money markets.

You pay money and get in return numbers. Numbers are randomly selected by a computer (called ERNIE=Electronic Random Number Indicating Equipment) and if one of your numbers is chosen by computer you get paid a money prize. The odds are such that you have a reasonable chance of winning roughly equivalent to what you would earn as interest if you deposited the money in a bank or building society savings account. Yes there is chance in it but on average, people don't lose money because it keeps up with the inflation rate. And you might see it as helping the country by lending to the government in this way.

Personally I have never held any of these "Premium Bonds" either.
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Old 2005-10-26, 08:46   #5
outlnder's Avatar
Aug 2002

2×3×53 Posts

The MegaMillions lottery jackpot of $295 mil, was won by a guy in Las Vegas who moved there after he won the California lottery of $22 mil.
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Old 2005-10-26, 10:14   #6
xilman's Avatar
May 2003
Down not across

19·613 Posts

Originally Posted by Peter Nelson
I don't think this "good" balances the "bad" of taxing the poor or stupid. There are also social problems when people suddenly come into a lot of money they are not used to handling.
I am unambiguously in favour of the UK lottery.

It is that wonderful thing: a tax which is both popular and entirely voluntary.

Needless to say, I don't pay that particular tax but I would not wish to prevent others from paying it if they want to do so.

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Old 2005-10-26, 14:53   #7
Greenbank's Avatar
Jul 2005

1100000102 Posts

Originally Posted by Peter Nelson
Personally I have never held any of these "Premium Bonds" either.
Funny that, I've just ploughed a chunk of the money left over after selling my house and paying off the mortgage into Premium Bonds as I have already filled up my ISA this year. (That is a nice feeling :-)

3.0% tax free "interest" (on average as it is a random draw for the prizes).

And I have a 1 in 2671692 chance of winning 1 million UKP every month.
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Old 2005-10-26, 22:13   #8
Richard Cameron
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Mar 2005

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I haven't checked the figures recently, but the majority of premium bond holdings these days are by higher rate tax payers for whom the expected return is pretty good. Plus as Greenbank says you might win ยฃ1million. Plus you can treat the investment as near-cash as you can get your 'stake money' back on demand at the post office.

My premium bond (singular) has never paid out in forty years :(
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Old 2005-10-27, 09:55   #9
Greenbank's Avatar
Jul 2005

2·193 Posts

Indeed. I think I got 5 UKP worth of premium bonds when I was born and I don't think I've ever won anything. Need to speak to the parents and get the numbers.

And you've hit on exactly the reasons why I went for premium bonds.

1) I'd filled up my ISA (by far the best 'safe' place to save money in the UK but capped at 7000 UKP a year).
2) I am a higher rate tax payer (40% in the UK). So 3% interest tax free is the equivalent (for me) of 5% before tax.
3) The limit on premium bonds is 30000 UKP total (I wish...)
4) I can get money out of them with almost no delay unlike the 90 access accounts.

And after all of this every month I have a chance of winning 1,000,000 UKP. ;-)

The other banks/building societies offering high interest rates (7% at Halifax and Abbey) only allow you save about 3000 UKP a year in 250 UKP monthly payments and once that year is up you have to transfer the money to another account that earns less interest. Not really long term and there's no guarantee that a similar deal will be there next year.

Last fiddled with by Greenbank on 2005-10-27 at 09:57
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