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Nothing like blowing the budget....
Old 03-16-2008, 08:10 AM   #1
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Nothing like blowing the budget....

on lottery tickets. And the poor will always be poor.

The Columbus Dispatch : Short money, long odds

Sorry for the double post..........
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Old 03-16-2008, 08:17 AM   #2
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I look on the lottery as a voluntary tax I choose not to pay. My odds of winning are about the same whether I play or not.
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Old 03-16-2008, 08:24 AM   #3
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The old tagline captures it well: "Gambling is a tax on people who are bad at math."

Nonetheless, I'll admit to buying two tickets once a month, regardless of the payout. What I'm buying with my $2 is daydreams.

Is this a form of dollar cost averaging in gambling?<g>
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Old 03-16-2008, 10:54 AM   #4
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I'll admit I play the lottery - however I am smart enough to know that I am not significantly changing my chances if I buy 100 tickets instead of my normal 1.

The way I see it, is someone beats the odds every week and why shouldn't it be me? However winning the lottery is not part of my retirement plan.
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Old 03-16-2008, 11:48 AM   #5
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Lottery sales last year in Ohio communities and neighborhoods where the median household income was less than $38,000 were twice as high as those posted in areas where median incomes exceeded $60,600.
I'm not suggesting that this analysis is faulty, but they left out some details. For instance, when they divided up neighborhoods into high income and low income did they make any correction for number of people living there. The text implies that they did not. In which case, I would suggest that there are likely more than twice as many households (potential customers) living in apts in lower income (high density) areas and less households living in McMansions in higher income areas, so this is pretty much what you should expect just based on numbers of residents.
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:44 PM   #6
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If you can truly afford to blow a few bucks once in a while, the lottery can be a cheap source of daydreaming and imagination, and if you accept that the math is against you, so be it. Unfortunately all too often, lottery tickets are mostly purchased by those who can't afford to blow even ten bucks on a few tickets once in a while.
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Old 03-16-2008, 12:55 PM   #7
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I play about a dollar every couple of months. Whenever the jackpot gets about about 200 million, my company has a pool. I through in a dollar because I couldn't live with myself if one of our tickets won and I was the poor sap who still had to go to work. I think of it like an insurance policy -- I pa a 1$ premium to protect against the possibility that I would be the only one at my company who needs to work after someone hits the big one.
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Old 03-16-2008, 01:06 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by growing_older View Post
I'm not suggesting that this analysis is faulty, but they left out some details. For instance, when they divided up neighborhoods into high income and low income did they make any correction for number of people living there. The text implies that they did not. In which case, I would suggest that there are likely more than twice as many households (potential customers) living in apts in lower income (high density) areas and less households living in McMansions in higher income areas, so this is pretty much what you should expect just based on numbers of residents.
I think the investigation was based on postal zip codes and census data. I'm not sure if different zip codes represent the true number of residents. I do know zip codes in-town are small in area compared to ones in more suburban areas.
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:14 PM   #9
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florida just started a new aspect of its lottery where you get to, as they advertise, "pick your jackpot" by adding $1 to the $1 lottery for "an extra $10mm" or you can add $2 to the $1 lottery for "an extra $20mm."

they advertise "add millions to your jackpot." i swear i'm not making this up. here you can see for yourselves if you don't believe me: The Florida Lottery
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:22 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by growing_older View Post
I'm not suggesting that this analysis is faulty, but they left out some details. For instance, when they divided up neighborhoods into high income and low income did they make any correction for number of people living there. The text implies that they did not. In which case, I would suggest that there are likely more than twice as many households (potential customers) living in apts in lower income (high density) areas and less households living in McMansions in higher income areas, so this is pretty much what you should expect just based on numbers of residents.
Also, does it adjust for the places where you can't even buy a lottery ticket? It's tough to find a gas station in the middle of the $500k+ house subdivision. Statistics and lies.

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Old 03-16-2008, 02:42 PM   #11
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Occasionally there is an office pool and we buy tickets at the outlet nearest work (inner city). Likewise folks at work who buy regularly most often do so at the nearby (inner city) outlet much more often than at their home (upscale suburban). I'm sure the zip code for the business district has a low average income for residents, yet the clients at these outlets are predominantly not residents.

For what it's worth, I sampled a few ZIP codes and found population ranged from 300 in one to 33,000 in the highest of my sample (randomly chosen). Most were in the 10,000 to 20,000 range. So I don't think relying on ZIP codes to normalize the sample size is reasonable.

Again, I'm not arguing against the conclusions of the study, just saying that the methodology as described in the article is full of holes. Could be a problem with the article or a problem with the study. Can't tell as reported here.
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Old 03-16-2008, 02:45 PM   #12
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For what it's worth, I sampled a few ZIP codes and found population ranged from 300 in one to 33,000 in the highest of my sample (randomly chosen).
Where can you get this information?

Thanks, Ha
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:02 PM   #13
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Google search turned up this site:

Zip Code Directory FAQ

They sell a zip code directory product but allow a few free sample checks for people who want to look at the kind of data available.
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Old 03-16-2008, 03:45 PM   #14
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Here's some data from a link in the original article. The 43224 zip code is adjacent to mine, separated by the interstate. Look at the sales per person. And then look at the sales per person in my zip code 43214.


Zip Code: 43224 City: COLUMBUS Population (in zip code): 38,764 Median Household Income: $35,529.00 Lottery Outlets: 38 View a map of these locations Winners: 221 Winnings: $724,206.68 Instant Game Sales: $5,856,421.00 Online Sales: $6,467,960.00 Total Sales: $12,324,381.00 Sales per person: $317.93

Zip Code: 43214 City: COLUMBUS Population (in zip code): 24,797 Median Household Income: $57,119.00 Lottery Outlets: 13 View a map of these locations Winners: 31 Winnings: $42,277.00 Instant Game Sales: $1,086,679.00 Online Sales: $596,651.50 Total Sales: $1,683,330.50 Sales per person: $67.88
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Old 03-16-2008, 04:24 PM   #15
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I also play the lottery every once in awhile I also like to gamble in Vegas. Key is everything in moderation and live within your means.
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Old 03-16-2008, 04:59 PM   #16
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Gee, and I thought this thread was going to be about a humungous shopping spree, and I was all ready to drool over your amazing, fabulous purchases. Instead, it's just about the stupid lottery.

Odds on the lottery are so bad, that I consider it a tax on stupidity. And that's from someone who likes playing the slots from time to time (which isn't much better). Each to her/his own, I guess.
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