Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Powerball

I am not a gambler. I have been to a casino once in my life. I did walk out with more than I left behind (USD 120.00 more), but I have not been back. I always considered multi state lottery tickets to be a waste of cash; a voluntary tax. The odds of winning are astronomical unless you're some toothless hillbilly in Dry Ridge, Kentucky with a major appliance on your front porch and at least one car up on blocks in the front yard of your double wide trailer with a still in the back.

However....for the last two Powerball drawings, a member of management (not me) in my office has been running a ticket pool among the employees in an attempt to increase the odds of a win. I was asked to join. I thought long and hard about it and then I chucked in three bucks the first time and six yesterday.

I will not be the last man standing. If I had not paid my lottery tax, they would win and leave me holding the broom and everything else in the building. If that happened, I would die before I had a chance to retire.  I refuse to let that happen, so I made a bad investment.

We will not win though. The odds are still against us. It is an impossibility. Some people believe in luck. I do not. Something either happens or it doesn't and it has nothing to do with some mystical ability to win or succeed or or or. I do not understand the forces that drive contests such as these, but I do believe that someone somewhere already knows what state and city and store the winning ticket(s) will be sold. This would mean that they had already derived the correct numbers through some calculus of gambling, the science of which few understand well. I do not think the algorithm favors Norwalk, Iowa where our tickets were purchased. It's a racket plain and simple. It's something only state governments can get away with. There is a lot of misery that comes out of state sponsored gambling, but at least in my office, no child will be left behind. I see it as insurance that will never get used.

I can rationalize anything. I should have been a lawyer.       

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