$900 million lottery--why did you buy a ticket?

With several threads running right now about how you’d spend your winnings, etc…
I’m curious to know how many Dopers have bought a ticket for this week’s $900 million powerball lottery, but who do not routinely buy tickets for the regular weekly lotteries which have lousy payouts of only 2 or 3 million.

Three million bucks just ain’t worth your time? :slight_smile:

Pretty much. I bought $5’ worth of tickets. It’s not worth my interest or mental involvement to participate in smaller lotteries, but this one is intriguing.

Because I can spend 20 to 40 million for a ticket into space and not even dent the budget. Maybe even get creative/risky and get to the moon (but that would probably blow most of it).

Honestly, even a measely mil or two would make me happy till I died easily.

With this kinda money, I can do some major assed shit.

But yeah, I RARELY buy a ticket just because the pot got bigger. I just a handful of times a year randomly buy one.

And I AIN"T ever standing in even a short line just to buy a ticket.

Lotteries usually have a negative EV. They might cost a dollar to play, and have 1 chance in 45 million of winning. You would have to buy, on average, 45 million tickets @ $1 to win. If the prize is a mere 3 million dollars, you’d lose 42 million dollars.

BNut when the prize gets really high, the EV becomes positive. You’d still have to buy 45 million tickets to win, but the prize is 900 million. You’d gain 855 million.

That’s the logic behind it. Personally I don’t play.

I don’t want to waste the money normally, even if it’s a small amount on a weekly basis. But one shot for something this big? Yep. My family and I all put in our $5. Seems silly not to, just so we can dream a bit.

I didn’t buy a ticket because the jackpot was so big, the news about the jackpot reminded me to get one. The odds don’t change, I’d be very happy to win the smallest jackpot.

Because everyone dreams of being Charlie Bucket but can’t possibly buy tickets to every drawing every week. It’s fun to be in on the really big ones.

Because the lottery isn’t part of my day-to-day life or mindset. I don’t consider it until it reaches a size where its permeating the news/culture and I can’t help but think about it.

It’s a cheap high for a few days. You talk with your friends about it, there’s the camaraderie when you actually buy the tickets, and of course, the long mental list you make of who gets what and what do I buy. I miss being at work for these big lotteries because I used to be in two different pools, 10 bucks each, but only when the prize hit 300 mil. Yo can do a lot of good with almost a half billion, no?

  1. It’s fun
  2. It’s money I can afford to waste
  3. There’s an astronomically small chance I might win
  4. Even if I don’t, I’m contributing to public education

The lottery is normally something I never think about. On the way out of the house today, though, my husband gave me some cash and asked me to get a couple tickets. So I did. I have never purchased Powerball tickets before.

This for me too. It rarely occurs to me to buy one, and I’ve never even gotten three numbers on a Lotto ticket, so even if I think about it I usually just mentally shrug and walk on past the counter.

I bought a couple of quick picks this morning, though. :slight_smile:

I purchased because:

Many years ago I dreamed I won the lottery. In the dream I was surrounded by many people I did not know. I was handed a huge check. I could see the dollar amount on the check. It was after taxes. I only play when the jackpot is large enough to pay out the amount on the dream check.

I used to play whenever it got above 250 million, but they took down a lotto billboard on a road I use a lot. Now I only play when it gets so high that it hits the news.

I didn’t.

I didn’t. That sort of money - well, it’s really impossible to say what effect it would have on our lives, but I doubt the Firebug would have anything remotely resembling a normal childhood if we came into that sort of money. And nothing is more important in my life right now than making sure he gets the right start in his life.


Oh, wait…

Three million dollars wouldn’t cover my dreams, no. Realistically, I couldn’t even start a free spay/neuter clinic with a lousy three million paid out over 30 years. That’s $100,000 a year. I couldn’t even build and equip the clinic for that, much less pay staff.

Yes, three million would cover me personally. But if I’m going to spend what little money I have on a lotto ticket, it’s going to be for a chance to do some of the things I dream about. Today as I was leaving the county animal shelter where I volunteer my Saturdays (because no one else in this city will give their Saturdays to the cat adoption room and Saturdays are our busiest day), I said if I won $800 million, I’d get with the county and build a new shelter.

I throw $2 at the Powerball lotto whenever the jackpot goes over $400 million. It’s worth it to buy into the fantasy.

I buy tickets on a whim. It could be the normal payout; it could be something ridiculous like tonight’s drawing. It entirely depends on if I have cash that is not already allocated for something (like a haircut or whatever), and if I think of buying a ticket while I’m at the cash register in a place that sells tickets. I don’t ever go to the store and buy a lottery ticket deliberately.

I’ll note that in addition to my one ticket for Powerball ($900 million), I also have a ticket for the Classic Ohio Lottery, with an expected payout of $1.3 million.