Sure, you can’t take your favorite 10-year-old niece with you to your favorite casino to feed electronic quarters into a dazzling slot machine until her eyes glaze over and she enters a gambling-induced trance. That’s generally illegal. What’s perfectly legal, though, is buying her a nice pile of instant lottery tickets to play. You have to be 18 years old to buy scratchers, but not to play them. Which is why the New Jersey State Lottery and the state Council on Compulsive Gambling put out a statement this week warning that giving lottery tickets to kids might just win them a lifetime of gambling addiction. [More]
Those whose retirement strategy is to buy a Powerball ticket and pray will have to double down on their investments. Starting Jan. 15, the multi-state mega-lottery will increase its ticket prices from $1 to $2. The price bump follows the lead of scratch-off tickets, many of which come in much larger denominations. [More]
WIRED reports how a geological statistician figured out how to beat a scratch-off lottery ticket game, discovering a simple trick hidden in the numbers that let him pick winners 90% of the time before scratching the tickets at all. What’s more is that the exploit he stumbled across can be repeated again and again against so-called “extended play” or “baited hook” tickets, spreadsheet-like scratch-offs featuring rows and rows of numbers and near-miss combinations. [More]
Prize-Linked Savings plans are these things where a tiny bit of the interest on all the participants’ savings accounts get pooled together. Then on a regular basis someone gets randomly selected for a giant cash prize! The instruments have done well in other countries for years, encouraging people to save instead of wasting their money on a hopeless game. Naturally, America hates it. [More]
There are lots of things that you would probably do if you won the lottery. Pay off your family members’ mortgages, fill a Jacuzzi with hot chocolate, buy a water park, or donate to your favorite blog. However, a basic understanding of math will force you to admit that there are much better places for your dollar than the lottery’s coffers. You can, however, simulate the experience of playing the lottery for decades at a time without ever spending money on a ticket. This handy web app simulates the experience of playing the same numbers in the multi-state MegaMillions game for as long as ten years. [More]
Not everyone is fond of state lotteries, but you know what they’re not? Illegal. Still, Tim shared his experience with the New York State Lottery and his credit card company, Chase, where the bank chose to treat his lottery subscription payment as a cash advance, with the $10 fee and astronomical interest rate that goes along with it. [More]
The tiny chances of winning a lottery don’t stop people from playing. And even if you do win, there’s a chance you’ll only get 50% of the advertised winnings, after taxes. The house always wins. This big ol infographic breaks down the numbers for you: [More]
A recent study found that poor folks – households earning under $13,000 per year – spend about 9% of all their income on lottery tickets. [More]
Save to Win gives Michigan residents the chance to win the lottery simply by purchasing a certificate of deposit. Here’s how it works: residents who contribute at least $25 into a Save to Win CD are automatically entered into monthly drawings for a $400 raffle, and an annual drawing for a $100,000 jackpot. Even if you don’t win, you still have an interest bearing CD.
Very Short List notes that “America’s lotto kiosks are currently reporting heretofore unheard-of earnings,” despite the average rate of return—53%—being less than slot machines. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon recently completed a study in which they primed people to feel relatively poor, then offered them a chance to buy lottery tickets, and the results suggest that the poorer you feel, the more likely you’ll waste your money on a lottery.
Quinto is a new lottery game from Pennsylvania, and their mascot is a bunch of fingers, we’re guessing. We can’t figure out how these mascot costumes made it from concept to on-the-street reality, though. We like how the guy in this photo seems to be thinking, “What exactly am I posing with?”
A class-action lawsuit has been filed in California against Verizon and several third-party companies, alleging that they promoted illegal gambling by enticing customers to pay to enter contests in which there was an “infinitesimally” small chance of winning, reports RCRWireless. “The suit centers on 99-cent charges levied on wireless consumers who played contests associated with popular TV shows like ‘Deal or No Deal’ and ‘Sole Survivor.’” The plaintiffs claim that the contests were less promotional sweepstakes than “illegal lotteries designed to generate revenues far in excess of the value of the cash awarded.”