Monday, November 12, 2012

Be a Billionaire in Five Minutes

The other day, I made the case that playing the Lottery was a losing proposition, but I also promised there might be a better way to win a lot of money.

About three years ago, I came across a casino scam, and explained how not to fall victim to it. However, it occurred to me that the Roulette wheel is better odds than the Lottery, and you can play with the same amount of money, $1.

The Lottery has about a 50% payback, which means that over the long term, for every $1 you spend, you get back 50 cents (before taxes). You could restrict your purchases to only those jackpots which exceed 100%, but it already takes thousands of years to win, so there's no point in that.

One day when I was in a casino, I saw the number 12 come up 4 times in a row, and I wondered, if I had put $1 on 12 and let it ride all four times, how much would I have won?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Best Way to Win the Lottery

As I drive around the country, I've noticed a lot - I mean A LOT - of billboards, and a significant percentage of them devoted to Powerball. With quite a few jackpots reaching 8 digits, it was only natural that I start wondering if maybe I should start investing in lottery tickets.

When I was younger, I occasionally paid attention to the Illinois Lotto, thought of what might be the best strategy to win it. The odds of a single ticket winning were about 56 million to 1, and the average payout was around $28 million, which is half the odds. Checking out Powerball, I see the odds of winning is about 175 million to one and the average payout is about 90 million; again, half.

Why half? Simple, really.

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