Lottery fever grips Dorchester

At 10:18 a.m., Dan Ryan reported:

The Dorchester Casino, Tedeschi's (Lil Peach) on Neponset Ave, already has a line of cars out the parking lot.



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    tax on the stupid

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    A lottery is nothing but a tax on stupidity.

    A Few Weeks Ago The Grand Prize Was ONLY....

    I'm not sure if the Powerball promoters promise a minimum Grand Prize in the first drawing after someone or a number of people walk off with a humongous fortune, but I assume a few weeks ago the Grand Prize was ONLY a few million dollars. But the people standing in line in the hot Sun this weekend couldn't have been bothered then. I'm going to assume that there is a belief that somebody or more than just one entity WILL win tonight, but they seem not to understand that the odds are the same as when the prize was smaller. What I wonder is this: since the odds are 175 million-to-one that any ticket will win, anybody who buys a ticket tomorrow if a winner is identified tonight must realize that he or she is likely just building up the pot for the next multi-million dollar drawing in a few weeks.

    I think

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    and I'm probably not alone in this, that people just tend to kick themselves for not at least giving themselves a tiny chance. You can't win by not playing. Plus there is happiness utility in playing, especially when the news event is that the price is reaching historic proportions. Powerball has also said 80% of combinations have already been sold, so the chances of A winner is good.

    What I never understand is someone buying multiple picks. The guy in front of me yesterday bought $50 worth of picks.

    Statistically, realistically, he didn't increase his odds over my one ticket. You'd need to buy a million tickets to put a dent in the odds. Not to mention that you're already more likely to be hit by a MBTA bus today then hitting the jackpot. Hell, you're more likely to get hit by a MBTA bus while at your computer now, inside!

    Winning the lottery would

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    Winning the lottery would seriously mess up my life, and not in a good way. When it's a big jackpot, even more so.


    The BIG one!

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    I only occasionally buy a lottery ticket, and only when the pot gets large. Not because I think that has any effect on my odds of winning; I'm playing for entertainment value, and the bigger the pot the more entertainment I get out of it.

    Yes, yes, it really is a regressive tax. :)

    expected return

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    It's actually a rational way to look at it. The expected return of any unknown is the payout times the chances of winning. So if the prize now is 100 times what it was a few weeks ago and the same odds, then your expected return is 100 times what it was, making your $1 investment more likely to pay off.

    Several years ago, I saw a fairly thorough analysis, taking into account the likelihood of splitting a prize, winning smaller prizes, taxes, etc., and based on whatever the jackpot was then, he came up with a value of about 75 cents for your one dollar ticket. His final conclusion was that the people who play at the lower amounts are the suckers who contribute to build up the huge jackpots that then can be won by the people who only play when it gets to a certain size.

    Morning Keno rush

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    If you knew this convenience store you'd know that this was just the rush to get a seat to play Keno all day.


    I was in there one morning for one convenience item and had some 50 year old "kid" rush to get in front of me to play every permutation of every lottery game available.

    Come on, guy. I actually have to leave this Lil Peach to earn money.

    I usually buy a ticket when

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    I usually buy a ticket when the jackpot gets big like this. Though, I forgot to do so today.

    I worked at a store that sold lottery tickets when I was in high school. It was my first exposure to compulsive gambling. We had a regular customer who would come in every Friday to buy scratch tickets, and stay for at least an hour buying, and scratching, buying and scratching--and that was still when everything cost $1. At 17, I didn't appreciate the larger aspect of her problem. I just thought that was a pretty stupid way to spend an hour. My boss at the time told me that this woman lived miles away from the store--we were just on her circuit. Indeed, I once saw her at another store several towns over buying scratch tickets. She recognized me, but pretended that she didn't.

    I assume that by now this woman is long dead, but I think of her when I see those $10 tickets nowadays.