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lotteries

saravanan balu
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Joined: May 19, 2000
Posts: 49
How many of you believe in lotteries?
i have seen people telling if i win in lotto....so still people are buying lotteries?? :roll:
Chetan Parekh
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Joined: Sep 16, 2004
Posts: 3636
Once I won US$820,000.00 , but I believe in hardwork - hence i denied to take those money.
[ January 03, 2007: Message edited by: Chetan Parekh ]

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Srikanth Raghavan
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Joined: Oct 31, 2005
Posts: 389
so still people are buying lotteries??


So you want to become a millionaire and quit your job???

I personally will not buy a lottery because let's say if I win a lottery and I buy a nice shoe with my own money then I don't want people to say he got it with THAT money he won in the lottery. Doesn't feel great, does it?
Srikanth Raghavan
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Joined: Oct 31, 2005
Posts: 389
Originally posted by Chetan Parekh:
Once I won US$820,000.00 , but I believe in hardwork - hence i denied to take those money.

[ January 03, 2007: Message edited by: Chetan Parekh ]


Oh really, then I won US $820,000,000.99 and I did the same...
Ashok Mash
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Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
IMHO, there is nothing wrong with lotteries. While chances of winning is almost none, it is a honest and legal shortcut to get rich. Tell me, who wouldn't want to make some easy money? If it doesn't agree to your conscience and you would rather prefer hard earned cash, you can give it away to some charity of your liking, and be happy that it went to a good cause than out feeding someones gambling addictions!


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Rohit Nath
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Joined: Jun 16, 2006
Posts: 387
talk about probability...!


R.N
Deepak Bala
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Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6662
    
    5

talk about probability...!


Pretty slim indeed


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rajen kumar
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 03, 2006
Posts: 21
what's the harm in buying a lottery?As mentioned in one of the above posts its the quickest legal way to get rich( and there are very few people who does'nt want to be rich).
And ofcourse if one can control the amount one spends on it things should be fine.
I do hear pessimist or mathematicians coming up with probability theories that states that winning a lottery is next to impossible.
But to me the probability is 50-50 i.e either you are lucky or your are unlucky.

I think financial planners should advise their clients to keep investing in lotteries once in a while
Dave Lenton
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Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 1241
Originally posted by rajen kumar:
But to me the probability is 50-50 i.e either you are lucky or your are unlucky.
Having two options doesn't mean that the odds are 50-50 though. Or do you think that everyone who plays the lottery has a 50% chance of winning?


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Rohit Nath
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Joined: Jun 16, 2006
Posts: 387
I think financial planners should advise their clients to keep investing in lotteries once in a while.

Welcome to the world of Extreme financial planning!!
R K Singh
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Joined: Oct 15, 2001
Posts: 5371
Originally posted by rajen kumar:
what's the harm in buying a lottery?


I dont know about lotto or these online lottery games.

But post libralisation era I have seen person who made money and then lost more than what he made. Lottery is gamble and thats why lottery agnecies and casinos make money not person who is playing.

If you really want to make money then instead of playing it, find a legal way to start your own lottery ;-)

AW jokes apart, I remember there used to come single digit lotteries(say in late 80s), single digit means that if last digit is same then you would get nine times of the cost of lottery. And trust that lottery is addiction because you trust your permutation, combination and probability capabilities.

And then there was saying at that time that if you want to become rich in single digit lottery then play by considering only one number and everyday keep doubling the amount you put in lottery, but then for that you need lot of money.

AW I have yet to meet a person who has made money out of lottery and gamble.

For gamble(Poker/Teen Patti/Flash) I know that there it requires brain also so I have seen some people who have not lost the game at all(but then, they make you to sit till they win).

Happy Lottering


"Thanks to Indian media who has over the period of time swiped out intellectual taste from mass Indian population." - Chetan Parekh
rajen kumar
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 03, 2006
Posts: 21
Having two options doesn't mean that the odds are 50-50 though. Or do you think that everyone who plays the lottery has a 50% chance of winning?

No it does not, but for me buying a lottery is not about probability, its about luck. Though the odds of winning is low(very low to be precise) but there is always a guy who wins for sure. I hope to be that guy one day

Welcome to the world of Extreme financial planning!!

I would stack up lottery in the following hierarchy:
Bank deposits => Mutual fund => Equity => Lottery
A financial planner may ask his client how much percentage of his portfolio he wouldnt mind losing in a year instead of gaining millions.
If the answer is 0.01 %, well then lets invest 0.01% across different lotteries( one shouldnt forget diversification :-) )

AW I have yet to meet a person who has made money out of lottery and gamble.

Yes thats true , one does not meet such people,since they are either staying in huge mansions or begging on the streets.
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8883
    
    5
Someone once said that a lottery is a tax on people who can't do math


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fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11475
    
  16

Originally posted by Bert Bates:
Someone once said that a lottery is a tax on people who can't do math


I always found this comment offensive, as I CAN do math (taught everything from pre-algebra up through pre-calc, taken Differential Equations, Discrete Math classes, etc) and I play the lottery.

Perosnally, I consider it my "License to Dream" fee. If I buy a tickets for, say, $1/week, I can fatasize/dream about what I would do if i DID win, knowing it is POSSIBLE.

As opposed to not buying a ticket where it is IMPOSSIBLE. There is a large difference between 0 and 1/64,000,000 or whatever the odds are.

But, Bert, your point is well taken. Most people do NOT uderstand the odds. You would do much better to take your money and drop it all on a single hand of blackjack (assuming you follow basic strategy). You'd have a MUCH higher return on your investment.
[ January 03, 2007: Message edited by: Fred Rosenberger ]

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Ashok Mash
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Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
Originally posted by R K Singh:
AW I have yet to meet a person who has made money out of lottery and gamble.


Are you sure about that? Many who wins huge sums would spend a lot to maintain anonymity, secrecy - otherwise it could bring more hassle than what its actually worth.

Also, a lot of top-gun stock traders could be considered as gamblers based on their portfolios/investment tactics. I am sure you have heard of many rags-to-riches stories, especially in India!
Ashok Mash
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Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
Originally posted by Bert Bates:
Someone once said that a lottery is a tax on people who can't do math


Well, no offense Fred, someone once told me its the 'weekly stupidity tax'!
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18978
    
  40

I agree with Fred -- sometimes you have to do it just for fun. Even though that you know that the odds are horrible.

Now... If memory serves, and I know that I am wrong with the exact numbers: I believe that Craps has a vigorish of around 2%. Roulette has a vigorish of around 5%. Blackjack actually have the odds with you, if you are a good card counter. Around 2% or 3% vigorish, if you follow basic rules. And about 30% plus for the average person who just "feels" like whether to "stand or hit".

The jackpot machine is actually more interesting. Due to it's popularity, there are many casinos in Vegas and AC that actually brag about it's 99% return rate, which gives a vigorish of 1%. In general, it is about 3% in the states.

In the U.S., the vigorish for lotto is about 50%, because quite frankly... half of the take is used by the state to pay for whatever services that it was intended for.

Henry


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Eric Pascarello
author
Rancher

Joined: Nov 08, 2001
Posts: 15376
    
    6
According to my email, I win the lottery at least 4 times a day.

Eric
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 61608
    
  67

Originally posted by Bert Bates:
Someone once said that a lottery is a tax on people who can't do math


Thunder stolen!


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anand phulwani
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Joined: Sep 10, 2005
Posts: 242
If anyone buy's a lottery ,buy one for me,and if i win,i will pay you.


Thanks and Regards, Anand
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Sayak Banerjee
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Joined: Nov 28, 2006
Posts: 292
I'd prefer gambling to lotto 'cause the former is an art whereas the latter is fart.


Turn on, tune in, drop out.
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:
...I consider it my "License to Dream" fee...

I'm with Fred.

If your motivation is return on investment, then it would be difficult to do worse than "investing" in lottery tickets. But if your motivation is simply to buy a dream, and you know it's only a dream... Well, that's worth a dollar to me. But no more than a dollar. (Plausibility is one thing, but the math major in me understands that several times zero is still zero.) It also helps if you can rationalize it as a donation, knowing that part of the proceeds go to good causes.

(Minnesota State Lottery annual proceeds: $10.6 million to Natural Resources Fund, $10.6 million to Game & Fish Fund, $32.5 million to Enviornment & Natural Resources Trust Fund, $67.8 million to a General Fund -- including $35.3 million to education, $17.6 million to health & human services, 3.4 million to criminal justice, etc... Ref: MN Lottery - Where the Money Goes.)


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fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11475
    
  16

Originally posted by Henry Wong:

Now... If memory serves, and I know that I am wrong with the exact numbers: I believe that Craps has a vigorish of around 2%. Roulette has a vigorish of around 5%. Blackjack actually have the odds with you, if you are a good card counter. Around 2% or 3% vigorish, if you follow basic rules. And about 30% plus for the average person who just "feels" like whether to "stand or hit".
For those of you who don't gamble, the vigorish, or vig, is basically the house take. So, a vig of 2% means that for every dollar bet, the house keeps 2%. the house makes it's money because you recycle your money so often. For example, you put $20 in the slot machine. Most people do not pull the lever 20 times at $1 a pull then cash out and leave - they keep playing. so, after 20 pulls they may have $12 in credit. they then play through that $12, maybe getting up to $25. They then play that, and so on, until they have nothing (usually).

Henry's numbers are close. Craps, played with 10x free odds on the don'ts, can lower the vig to about 0.8%, on the pass line to about 1.2%. Roulette's vig varies. On a U.S. style wheel, there is a "0" and a "00", giving the house the 5ish %. European style wheels only have the "0", lowering the vig to around 2.5%.

I don't know about the "feeling" numbers in blackjack, but basic strategy is about 2%. However, it's next to impossible to count into a 6-deck shoe. Even if you can, the chances of the deck swinging far enough to make it worthwhile are pretty slim.

Then, if you can find a one or two deck shoe, the rules are set up to still make card-counting less effective, and the house watches for wild betting patterns that can only be explained by card counting, and they will (and can) bar you from any further play, or even setting foot on their property.
[ January 03, 2007: Message edited by: Fred Rosenberger ]
Bert Bates
author
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Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8883
    
    5
I have been known to play the lottery, but I prefer to think of it as paying a little extra tax to those government agencies that I'm more fond of...
Tim LeMaster
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Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 226
Yeah the math quote always struck in my craw. I also know the odds but when its up in the 20 million dollars range it certainly is fun to buy a ticket and dream with the wife what we would do with the millions. When the Florida lotto was 20 million last week, my wife and I spend more than an hour talking in the car about what we would do if we won. Sure its a dream, but its worth a couple of bucks to day dream with my wife for an hour. Plus its 16 Billion dollars to education so far.
Henry Wong
author
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Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18978
    
  40

Henry's numbers are close. Craps, played with 10x free odds on the don'ts, can lower the vig to about 0.8%, on the pass line to about 1.2%.


Fred,

While I agree with you on the odds (as craps is my favorite), the rules that you are suggesting are incredibly nerve racking.

A 10x free odds on a $5 bet on the pass line is $50. A 10x free odds on a $5 bet on a don't pass of a 4 or 10 is $100. Throw in a couple of come bets too, and you now have anywhere of $150 to $300 on the table.

Do you really play the 10x table? I am hesitant to go near it.

Henry
Dave Lenton
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Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 1241
Originally posted by rajen kumar:
No it does not, but for me buying a lottery is not about probability, its about luck.
Sorry, but I don't understand what you mean by saying that a lottery is not about probability, but about luck. What do mean by the word "luck"? How do you differentiate this from probability?

It seems to me that "luck" is simply a label we give to something when it happens despite a very low chance of happening. If I win the lottery I may say "that was lucky", but it is nothing more then a label expressing the low probability of my win. Other then that it seems to be a pretty meaningless word.

Though the odds of winning is low(very low to be precise) but there is always a guy who wins for sure. I hope to be that guy one day
If lottery A gives you a 1 in 100 chance of winning, but doesn't have to have a winner, and lottery B also gives you 1 in 100 chance of winning and must have a winner, you still have exactly the same chance of winning both. A certain winner changes nothing if the odds are the same.
Rohit Nath
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Joined: Jun 16, 2006
Posts: 387


Start preparing!
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11475
    
  16

Henry,

I'm not saying that's how i DO play, just that that is the way to play if you want to minimize the vig.

I usually make a pass line bet and then 2 come bets, for $5 each, with $10 odds on each. If a few of them hit, I'll start pressing up my odds by $5-6 as they get re-established.

When i'm feeling wild and crazy, I'll only make the pass line bet (again, with $10 odds), and then place the 6 and 8 for $6. the first time it hits, i press it up to $12. when that hits, I press up to $18. Then i go $30, $42, $60, $72, $90, $120, $150 - which is as high as i've ever gotten them. Once i had $150 on one, $120 on the other, and i think about $50 in odds on my pass-line.

THAT was a good day.

Oh, and I've said for years that there is no such thing as luck, there are simply insufficient random samples.
Stan James
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One of my dad's friends won $22 million. He told me to quit playin the lottery because what are the chances he'd know TWO big winners? BTW: He taught college statistics for 32 years; he thought that was hilarious.

The difference between "tax on those who are bad at math" and good clean entertainment at half the cost of a movie is all in the player. I quit buying tickets when I realized I was spending quite a bit of time planning how to spend my millions. I did come up with a nice plan for my wing of the house, though.


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marc weber
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Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Stan James:
...He taught college statistics for 32 years; he thought that was hilarious...

That falls into the same category as playing the same numbers that won last time. A lot of people would think you're crazy: What are the odds of those same numbers winning again? (Answer: Exactly the same as any other combination.)
Ashok Mash
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Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
Originally posted by Stan James:
One of my dad's friends won $22 million. He told me to quit playin the lottery because what are the chances he'd know TWO big winners? BTW: He taught college statistics for 32 years; he thought that was hilarious.


Your chances of winning doesn't change at all! In fact, back in 2004, I heard the story of this guy who won a few million pounds in a UK lotto, and when he came down to West of Ireland to visit his relatives, his host won lotto in Ireland!
Frank Silbermann
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1389
Originally posted by Stan James:
One of my dad's friends won $22 million. He told me to quit playin the lottery because what are the chances he'd know TWO big winners? BTW: He taught college statistics for 32 years; he thought that was hilarious.
That's like the grandmother who was caught trying to smuggle a bomb onto an airliner. She said she had no plans to set it off, but she was worried about terrorists -- realized that the probabilities of a flight having _two_ people independently carrying a bomb was infinitessimally small.
Frank Silbermann
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Posts: 1389
Originally posted by Fred Rosenberger:
Personally, I consider it my "License to Dream" fee. If I buy a tickets for, say, $1/week, I can fatasize/dream about what I would do if i DID win, knowing it is POSSIBLE.

As opposed to not buying a ticket where it is IMPOSSIBLE. There is a large difference between 0 and 1/64,000,000 or whatever the odds are.
Ah, but you could put a thousand dollars into one random stock and then dream that it might become the next MicroSoft, IBM, Google, or whatever. Those odds are much better than your odds of winning the lottery -- and instead of being _likely_ to lose your who investment, the odds are that you'll likely make a little bit of money.

I remember reading the comments of a visitor to a Carribean island. He noted that immigrants from India seemed to grow prosperous, but the local people didn't. The reason came to him when he talked to two cab drivers. One was a recent immigrant from India, who said he dreamed of quitting his job to open a small grocery. To do so, he was saving every penny he could. Later he took a ride in a cab driven by a native driver. The driver told him, "No, I don't plan on doing this for life; I have hopes for better things." When asked how he planned to make that happen, the native driver explained, "Every week I put some of my earnings into lottery tickets."
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
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  16

i think since the lottery was first created/became available here, i have spent less than $200 on it. that is over a 20-or-so year period. So, if i use your $1k in a stock market plan, it's gonna be another 80 years before i save enough to invest it in a single stock.

i'd rather start dreaming now.
rajen kumar
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 03, 2006
Posts: 21
Originally posted by Dave Lenton:
Sorry, but I don't understand what you mean by saying that a lottery is not about probability, but about luck. What do mean by the word "luck"? How do you differentiate this from probability?


Probability says that if a player plays the lottery ten times its still very unlikely that he may win even a single time.
But probability does not rule out the fact that the player can still win the lottery every single time out of ten.
Here is it where "luck" comes in.
Luck appears to be the mysterious or unexplained factor that brings in fortune.
Jeroen T Wenting
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Joined: Apr 21, 2006
Posts: 1847
Most lotteries pay out AT MOST 30% of money put in by people buying tickets.
The rest goes to the organisers.
Many pay out less than 10%.

It is indeed better to play craps or blackjack in a casino, there the payout is almost always higher and there's some miniscule element of skill in the games as you can decide for yourself whether a particular hand is worth risking more or less money on.


42
marc weber
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Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Jeroen T Wenting:
Most lotteries pay out AT MOST 30% of money put in by people buying tickets.
The rest goes to the organisers.
Many pay out less than 10%.

It is indeed better to play craps or blackjack in a casino, there the payout is almost always higher and there's some miniscule element of skill in the games as you can decide for yourself whether a particular hand is worth risking more or less money on.

In the Minnesota State Lottery (see link above), 59.1% is paid to winners (about $268 million annually). An additional 6% is paid to retailers who sold winning tickets. Only 5-8% goes to administrative expenses.

But again, this idea of casino games being "better" is based on an expected return, and maybe a presumption that the game itself is entertaining. But when I spend a dollar on a lottery ticket, I'm not really looking for a return, so I don't consider that dollar lost. I just made a donation to a program that funnels $122 million annually to good causes, and I was able to dream a little.
Jeroen T Wenting
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Posts: 1847
That's excellent returns, only seen here by one lottery (and that's also the state run one, coincidence or not?).
Especially the "charity" lotteries have extremely low payouts, some even advertise the fact as a good thing (claiming that the less they pay out, the more goes to charity, and that therefore you should be happy for the low payout).
Dave Lenton
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Joined: Jan 20, 2005
Posts: 1241
Originally posted by rajen kumar:
Luck appears to be the mysterious or unexplained factor that brings in fortune.
What is the difference between an unlikely event and a lucky event? Nothing; luck is just a label which some people apply to unlikely events.

Even words such as "likely" and "unlikely" are just labels. As we do not fully understand how the universe works, and cannot predict what every atom and energy wave will do, we have to guess. The thing we guess will happen we call likely. The thing we didn't guess we call unlikely. These labels do not change the chance of the event happening - it would have happened no matter what label we apply to it.

For any given lottery result, there was only ever going to be one set of numbers which came out. The entire history of the universe up to the point at which the lottery starts ensures which balls will come out - there is no randomness, just a large complexity. We assign them probabilities not because there is a variety of different numbers which could randomly come out, but because we are unable to predict the numbers - the movements of the balls are too complicated for us to model.

Unless "luck" is a magic force which can alter the position or behaviour of the balls, then there is no way for the numbers to be altered. Or alternatively it would have to alter the position or behaviour of the energy or matter in the brain of the person picking the numbers. Or alter the configuration of the universe at some point way back in time so that in the future there is the correct combination of numbers and brain number picking pattern.

What is more likely - this vast magical force, or just coincidence?

It seems to me that the concept of "luck" is simply a human instinctive tendency to attribute an outside factor to unlikely events happening in order to excuse poor predictive ability.
 
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subject: lotteries