Tag Archives: Lottery

I’ll Have to Survive the Shock First

Powerball1By this time tomorrow I’ll be trying to figure out how to spend $1.5 billion dollars.  That’s right; I’m going to be winning the Powerball tonight.  I’ve already decided I’m not going to claim the money right away.  I’m going to wait a few days and see if I survive the shock.  I take the cash option so I will only see about a $930 million, and then after sharing it with the Feds and the State of New Mexico I’ll only have a few hundred million, but I think it will be enough. 

What I don’t understand is why if I get all five numbers but not the Powerball I only get a million.  It doesn’t sound right to me.  Why should “second” prize be so much less than the top prize?  Shouldn’t it be like $20 million or something?  Only 25 people got all five numbers in the last drawing on Saturday.  I mean, the odds of getting five numbers are pretty out there.  And, no, my math isn’t wrong because three of the winners got $2 million because they paid the extra $1 for the Power Play which doubles your grand prize win and can be as much as 10X the amount of lesser wins.

What I also noticed in the Wednesday drawing is that no one from New Mexico was in that group of 25.  There were 18,315,365 winners on Saturday, January 9th.  That’s a lot of people.  Of course most of those got four numbers or less and the amount you win for getting 3 numbers and the Powerball, for example, is $100.  If you get one number and the Powerball you win $4.  I’ve won that prize four times now.  At least I can claim to be a lottery winner.

Powerball is played in 47 states lotteries.  Last October they changed the game to pick five numbers from 1-69 and one Powerball number from 1-26.  The intent was to increase the size of the jackpots, and that seems to be the case, but it also increased the odds of winning.   Odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are now 1 in 292,201,338.  

So should you play your own numbers, or let the computer pick them for you?  According to the Powerball website FAQs, 70-80% of purchases are computer picks, or “quick” picks.  In relation to that, 70-80% of the winning tickets are quick picks.  That’s interesting.  I play my own numbers, but I have some quick picks for tonight’s drawing.  I’m playing the odds.

And the lottery sends you a W2-G form because the IRS will take a withholding amount out of your big win immediately.  Obviously at the highest tax rate, so you’ll have the rest of the year to make all those charitable contributions and other deductions so you can get a refund.  Right.

Anyway, I’m going to think positively until the drawing tonight and then I’ll make whatever plans are necessary.  I’m thinking I’ll need to hire an accountant, investment counselor, and lawyer, buy an island in the South Pacific, and get off the grid as soon as possible.  If I win $930 million everybody is going to want a piece of me.  But I’ll have to survive the shock first.


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Still More…Ramblings from the Land of Enchantment

The backyard in November.  All the leaves fell off the tree in one day.

The backyard in November. All the leaves fell off the tree in one day.

Well.  We’ve been back now for going on four years.  That will be four years in September, if we make it that long.  I see no reason why that won’t happen, but then I’ve been wrong before.  I’ve been wrong a lot.

Everybody in the blogosphere is talking about their yearly stats.  It’s because “WordPress” publishes an annual report and delivers it at the end of December, just in time for a New Year’s topic.  An easy topic, even if you’re suffering from “writer’s block” which you know (if you read “What the Fluffy”) doesn’t really exist, so we’ll touch on it here.  After another year of blogging, a mere 26 posts, it seems that Wednesday was my most “creative” day.  I uploaded 10 posts on Wednesdays.  You would think Mondays would be a more creative day, or even Fridays, but I seem to be a Wednesday guy.  Today is Thursday, so I’m a bit off track.

A total of 4,600 views of the total 268 stories were viewed in 2014. And the number one post….wait for it…”Who Invented The Light Bulb?…Wrong.”  The busiest day of the year, September 26th, had 54 views, and included this story as number one…again.  September 26th was a Friday. (Just throwing that in there.)  I say, again, because my top five posts were all written in 2011, and this story has been number one for the three years I have been writing “What the Fluffy” and have been sent an annual report.

You would think that I’m some kind of an expert on the history of the light bulb.  I’m not.  I’m not much of an expert on anything.  But if you type “Who invented the light bulb?” in Google search, you get 113,000 results.  I’m in there somewhere.  I used to be on page one.  That’s the reason everyone thought I was some kind of an expert on the history of the light bulb.  All I really know for sure is that Thomas Edison didn’t invent it.  It gets a lot muddier after that.

New Mexico is topping the list (whoever’s list that is) in drug abuse.  I can’t substantiate it, I’ve searched, but that’s what they were saying on the news this morning.  It doesn’t surprise me.  Drug of choice is heroin, overdoses are leading the nation, and Espanola, NM, made a “Forbes” list in 2009 for the highest deaths per capita.

Espanola has a population of around 100,000, is close to Sandia Laboratories where they do all kinds of novel research which means, I would assume, that they have a lot of high-paid, very intelligent employees, is in the northern part of the state, and really I have no reason why they ranked number one except in how “per capita” is calculated and what they try to imply with those statistics.  The National Drug Intelligence Center (there must be a “National Intelligence Center” for everything I imagine) in April 2002, reported “New Mexico leads the nation in per capita heroin-related deaths.”

There’s that “per capita” again.  We all know what it means.  Casper, Wyoming, was reported at one time to have the highest suicide rate per capita in the nation.  They attributed it to the wind as I remember it.  Yes, they said the wind, which blows every day like clockwork in Casper, drove people to suicide.  Okay, I’m sure that’s it.  The CDC statistics for 2010, list Alaska, New Mexico and Wyoming as the top three most suicidal states in America, in that order.  They’re all pretty windy states.  Maybe they’re on to something, but I’m going to go with maybe depression as the major cause.

Wait, maybe we all don’t know what per capita means.  It’s a Latin phrase which literally translates to “by heads”, in other words “for each person.”  So, for example a country’s per capita income means the average personal income per person.  Or in the case of heroin-related (which opens up a whole new question) deaths, 45.6 deaths in Espanola in 2009 per 100,000 population, put them in number one.  Which begs the question, how do you get a .6 death?  Enough of that.

My youngest daughter, super intelligent, lovely, enchanting, sweet, humorous, beautiful, girl, (I have no idea where she gets any of it) offered some sage advice the other day to overcoming obstacles.  She wrote, “Even a moped can get over a speed bump.”  I just love that.  No matter how big your speed bump is, you are clearly more than a moped, and if a moped can get over a speed bump, so can you.

So far into 2015, I haven’t won the lottery, haven’t found a job, haven’t done anything of note per capita, but have now written my first blog.  I did win the lottery in December.  Yes, I did.  Seven bucks!


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I Can’t Even Get Two Numbers To Hit

What is it with these lottery stories from North Carolina?  In February I wrote about a North Carolina Lottery winner who waited until the literal last day to claim a MILLION DOLLAR PRIZE.  His reason:  he was afraid of the publicity, the attention.  He stashed it all over the house, in bibles, and a shoebox, and once thought he had lost it.  He waited two weeks to tell his wife, until she had a bad day, he said.  I’m sure it cheered her up. 

On July 29th the North Carolina lottery made news again, for me at least, when the THIRD member of the SAME FAMILY won the lottery.  Damn, I can’t even get two of the numbers to hit even when I buy quick picks and don’t use the ages, birth dates, and anniversaries of everyone in the family.  I do buy tickets once in a while, because you can’t argue with “You Can’t Win, If You Don’t Play.”  I used to buy them every week when I lived in Arizona.  I never won ten cents, let alone the $100,000 that Kimberly McCauley won in a scratch-off game called “10X the Money” (The Charlotte Observer Reported).  Let’s not even go there.

The last time I bought a “scratcher” ticket was on a recent road trip to New Mexico.  I bought three of them and handed them to my wife.  She’s luckier than I am, which is say, I’m not lucky at all.  Nope.  Not even a $3 prize.  Now I have to admit we’ve won a $1 prize before on a scratcher once or twice, which you should win at least 90% of the time that you play a scratcher ticket, so you can buy another scratcher ticket, which is what they want you to do, and which is what I always do.  Who wants a dollar when the card screams out to scratch off three matching symbols and win $50,000!

Kimberly’s mother, Amy, hit $160,000 in the Carolina Cash 5 in the North Carolina Education Lottery in 2007.  But her big win was $15.5 MILLION in the New York Lottery in 1991.  Amy said her mother was “hogging all the luck” so she didn’t think she would ever win anything.  So Kimberly became number two in the family to hit the lottery, and good lord I don’t think they needed the money.  Well, maybe Kimberly did, I don’t know. 

What I do know, is this doesn’t seem fair.  That the same family wins the lottery three times.  But hey, did you know that someone has won the Texas Lottery FOUR times?  Well, I didn’t either.  Yeah, Joan Ginther, set a world record for the amount and times she has won.  Talk about lucky.  Joan, 63, has won a total of $20.4 million in four different Texas Lotteries since 1963.

The only lottery I’m glad I didn’t win, although I placed pretty high, was the draft lottery in 1971.  I wish it were “in my stars” to win a lottery ticket though.  Its my only hope for retirement at this point, but I just don’t think its going to happen.  I don’t ever remember even winning a raffle, which has a lot better odds than the billions to one odds of winning a lottery.

So am I envious of lottery winners?  Yes.  Am I even more envious of multiple winners in the lottery?  Yes.  By the way, you should do a search online to see how often this multiple win thing happens.  It happens a lot.  The odds of it happening are staggering.  Like 24 trillion to one.  But, then again, that Canadian who claims to have hit the lottery 5 times is under investigation…not for fraud, but because his brother-in-law claims that he is entitled to a portion of the money.  In other words, he was part of a group that purchased the ticket.  They’re fighting over $17 million.  WTF

Oh, and that lottery ticket at the top of this post?  Notice who signed that?  George Washington, in 1768.  It was to raise money for a mountain road in Virginia.  Notice the prize is not specified.  The ticket sold at auction recently for $13,700 and there are only 25 of them still remaining in circulation.  Maybe if I can’t win the lottery, I can score a lottery ticket from 1768.



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Did I Ever Tell You About The Time…

But it twernt Fiddlin' Bill Hensely, Asheville NC.

Someone is walking around North Carolina with a MILLION DOLLAR LOTTERY TICKET in their pocket, or not.  Or biking.  Or jogging.  Or driving.  Or maybe it was left in the pocket of a favorite pair of weekend jeans and SHE washed it without him being able to check the winning numbers.  Maybe the guy bought the quick pick at the convenience store and threw the ticket away weeks later without even checking the numbers figuring he hadn’t won anyway.  Or how about, he threw it on the truck seat and the wind picked it up and blew it out the back slider window which has been missing for years.  How about this, the guy knows he has the million dollar lottery ticket, but HE CAN’T FIND IT.  It has driven him almost to the point of jumping off the highest thing he can find in southwest North Carolina, because he can’t remember where it is.  But those winning numbers were his numbers.  He “plays” them all the time. 

 The $1 million ticket was sold at a convenience store called Market Express on 2800 Old Monroe Road in Matthews in Mecklenburg County, on August 20, 2010.  The winning numbers are 4-13-20-29-48.  No one has shown up with the winning ticket.  But get this, lottery tickets have gone unclaimed 16 times in the last four years since the lottery was started in NC.  WTF  And, although this is the first seven figure one, there was an unclaimed prize of $800,000 in 2008.

I checked with all my North Carolina friends and acquaintances, hoping for a finder’s fee or something, but none of them knew anything about it.  Damn don’t they read the papers?  So I had to walk them back through it.  Did you stop for gas, cigs, gum at a convenience store in Matthews?  Did you maybe throw a dollar out there and say, “Hey, give me one of them quick picks?”  Maybe you forgot about it?  Still have that ticket lying around somewheres?  Maybe in the glove box?  On the dresser with your change?

The schmuck who has, or who no longer has, the winning ticket, has until Wednesday at 5 pm to claim the prize.  I’m going to do a follow up and see what happens.  Some of the money will go to Medicaid and the state lottery’s education fund if the winner is not found. 

I can just see this dude in the future, sitting on the porch in his rocker, talking to anyone around who will listen, “Did I ever tell ya’ll about the time I won a million dollars in this here lottery, and I couldn’t find the ticket?” 

“Yeah, sure, and did I ever tell you about the time….

UPDATE:  OMG.  You gotta read the story about the couple that claimed the $1 million ticket at the last minute.  Too good not to share.  http://www.lotterypost.com/news/227737

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