Friday, November 30, 2012

Around the internet--the Powerball edition

So, as my U.S. readers may have heard,there were two winners for the Powerball drawing.  The jackpot, the biggest it's ever been, was up to almost $580M (the biggest was another lottery, MegaMillions, at $656M); the cash payout amount was almost $380M.  For my readers outside of the States, Powerball is one of our national lotteries. We have a fair number of lotteries here but Powerball--I believe--has the biggest jackpot.  Though I may be wrong.  I'm not a gambler.  I went to Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun with my folks once, browsed the shops and got a roll of quarters not for the slots but for laundry. I am boring.

You might expect me to get all sour-faced and scold people for buying chances in a lottery that they have no chance of winning (the chance is so tiny that it may not exist) but frankly, it's good entertainment.  As long as you're not blowing your grocery money or the mortgage or rent on it, have at it.  I'm of the same mind as Donna on this one. And as long as you're aware that the chances are small to the atomic level, then I will not call it a "tax on the stupid" like some personal finance writers.  It's just a bit of fun.

But. . .there are things you need to be aware of in case you do win.

First, winning doesn't guarantee happy endings.

In fact, if you are separated from an abusive jerk, they may try to get the money.

And you may notice that the people in your life change, even if you don't.

Here are things you should do if you win.

What are your chances of winning and having to worry about this stuff if you play? You can find out here.

And please! PLEASE. I don't mean to be negative, but you're not going to win. (See the aforementioned link to see how slim your chances actually are.) Do not mistake playing the lottery for a retirement plan.  It's a bit of fun. That's all.  Treat it as such, indulge in some daydreams, but get back to the business of living your actual life, which has its own challenges and rewards that you'd miss if you actually won that thing and found everyone and their dog trying to separate you from your winnings.

Also--if you are worried that you or a loved one might have a problem, read this. And this.  And check out Gamblers Anonymous.


  1. My $10 from earlier in the week is still tucked into my billfold. No lottery tickets bought here. :)

    1. Me too. I'm not much for gambling, lol. :)

  2. I love to daydream about how my life could change. But I've found that I don't need to buy a lottery ticket to daydream!

  3. Hehe, sometimes when the lottery jackpot gets stupidly big here in the UK (the Euromillions one gets you the most cash, I think, but you have even less chance of winning!), I have to admit I do buy a ticket. It's a small price of entertainment and excitement. It has to be a really big amount for me to bother, at least £150 million, because who needs a measly £100 million in their account?? ;)

    One tip I would give anyone is never pick your own numbers. Make sure you get a lucky dip ticket so that the numbers don't have significance to you and you can walk away from them at any time! I know some who say "I have to get a ticket, what if my numbers come up???".

    I must say, I'm always VERY disappointed when I don't win, however unlikely the odds! :(

    Some of those stories of people who have won are amazingly sad though. I would definitely try and keep a big win anonymous. I would also still try and complete my PhD. :)

  4. I'll play the lottery when it becomes stupidly big and everyone is talking about it. I might play twice a year. Heck I didn't even know a Powerball ticket was $2.00 and almost rethought my purchase.
    Thanks for mentioning my article and have a great rest of your weekend.