1994-06-28 - Re: Lotto odds

Header Data

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
To: edgar@spectrx.sbay.org (Edgar W. Swank)
Message Hash: 719ac2b0cbcc3b6f0a72f25bcea948ddf91655484a7c302a9f06a10748d80d4b
Message ID: <199406280738.AAA19633@netcom11.netcom.com>
Reply To: <N8amoc2w165w@spectrx.sbay.org>
UTC Datetime: 1994-06-28 07:38:45 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 28 Jun 94 00:38:45 PDT

Raw message

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 94 00:38:45 PDT
To: edgar@spectrx.sbay.org (Edgar W. Swank)
Subject: Re: Lotto odds
In-Reply-To: <N8amoc2w165w@spectrx.sbay.org>
Message-ID: <199406280738.AAA19633@netcom11.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Edgar Swank wrote:

> Tim May said,
>     ...As for lotto, simple calculations tell anyone that the best way
>     to win is not to play.  The return _at best_ is 30 or 40 cents on
>     the dollar, with the rest going to all the various programs the
>     lotto is supposed to support.  The more you play, the more you
>     lose.
> Actually, if memory serves, the CA Lotto claims to return 50% of
> income in prizes with the remainder divided between schools and

Maybe, but the state has a wonderful scam of paying off a "5 million
dollar jackpot" over 20 years; the true value (what the same deal
would cost you to buy as an annuity) is less than $5 M, possibly much
less. If private outfits did this, they'd be jailed.

> "administration."  Better than 30-40, but still worse than odds on any
> casino game or even the "numbers racket" run by organized crime.
"Or even"? The numbers games almost always have much better odds than
the State pays...that's one reason for their popularity (another is
tax avoidance).

> Calculation of "x" is not "simple", since you also have to figure in
> the 20-year (with no interest) payout of large prizes.

Oh, I see you mentioned this scam. (Calculation should still be
simple, as any spreadsheet can handle discounted present values and
the like.)

> One other tip for lotto players:  Never mark your ticket with any

I've never played, and never plan to. Money down the drain.

On the other hand, I play the stock market, and my losses in one day
probably dwarf the lottery ticket losses of a small town. But I win
more than I lose, because the stock market is not a zero sum game.

Sorry for talking about non-crypto things here, but volume on the
Cypherpunks list has remained abnormally low since the rolling outages
of a couple of weeks ago...I suspect we lost some folks.

--Tim May

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