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Author Topic: Lucky  (Read 8558 times)

robert

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Lucky
« on: January 09, 2012, 10:20:19 AM »
I don't play the lottery. However, I watched a very good documentary last night on CBC, called "Lucky". Made me think.

I don't think that a sudden pile money automatically is a good thing. Likely the the opposite.

Not that I would complain if I won some money... but I am more interested in working hard to get where I want to be, instead of wasting a fortune in the end, hoping for the big win. Yet so many people seem to do just that.

A person who spends $100 per month on the lottery—slightly less than the average resident of Rhode Island spends on the lottery (see Table 2)—over a forty-year period would be $144,000 richer if he instead invested that money. A lottery player who spends $50 per month—slightly less than the average resident of Massachusetts—would have an additional $72,201 if he instead invested his money, and the average New Yorker, who spends about $25 a month on the lottery, could be over $36,000 richer by retirement age if he instead invested in the stock market. [ http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/1302.html ]

Some more numbers:
Lotteries have the highest profit rates in gambling in the U.S.: in 1996, net revenues (sales minus payouts, but not including costs) totaled $16.2 billion, or almost 38% of sales. They are also the largest source government revenue from gambling, in 1996 netting $13.8 billion, or 32% of money wagered, for governments at all levels.
[ http://govinfo.library.unt.edu/ngisc/research/lotteries.html ]

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LUCKY takes an entertaining and candid look at the seduction of the lottery and what hitting the jackpot does to the winners. Veteran director Jeffrey Blitz (SPELLBOUND and 2007 Sundance Film Festival Director Awardwinner for ROCKET SCIENCE) crisscrosses the country following winners as they navigate their newfound riches, and hopefuls who have “a dollar and a dream.”

The cast of characters includes Quang and his wife, Mai, Vietnamese immigrants working the graveyard shift in a Nebraska meatpacking plant who reinvent their lives when they win $22 million dollars; James, a destitute, suicidal loner who divvies his last $3 between food for his cats and a Powerball ticket--and wins over $5 million; Kristine and Steve, a middle class New Jersey couple who, after winning $110 million, are sent 12,000 pieces of mail from strangers around the world begging for money; Robert, a Berkeley mathematician who understands better than most the near impossibility of winning and yet still hits a $22 million jackpot; and Buddy, considered a hero after running into a burning building to save a boy’s life, who seems to be repaid for his bravery with a $16 million win -- until his life comes apart at the seams. But the reality of these winners' stories mean nothing to Verna, an obsessive player from Delaware who spends up to a $100 a day on the lottery and still, after 30 years, firmly believes that she’ll one day land the big win.

Winners’ lives are turned upside down as they are forced to grapple with their new role in the world. It’s a chance to realize their dreams, to make a difference. But life also becomes complicated as they travel through a haze of attorneys, hired security guards, changing friendships, scheming family members and prying strangers. And those are just the pressures on the outside. How an unearned but thoroughly life-changing event forces them to reconsider who they really are and what they truly want from life may be the biggest challenge of all. In the end, is the payout a nightmare, blessing or some rich mix of the two? LUCKY is revealing, engaging, and will shed some light as you weigh your future deciding whether or not to buy a ticket.

See also http://www.cosmoloan.com/investments/5-worst-cases-of-lottery-disasters.html - some sad examples of big winners.

zagatron1

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Re: Lucky
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2012, 10:59:24 AM »
Greed turns the wheel indeed! At least in the US, and you can't suggest anything to some people because they "know everything"......... know what I mean, hint hint?

robert

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Re: Lucky
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2012, 11:07:21 AM »
A regressive tax based on ignorance? Every state's dream come true? hint, hint

DetroitBlues

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Re: Lucky
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2012, 11:39:53 AM »
Some people consider the lottery a poor man's tax because the lower class welfare are more inclined to buy lottery tickets then middle or uppoer class.  My wife and I believe God only gives you what you can handle.  I really don't think many can handle such a big payout.  I know I'd have a lot of extended family who'd love a handout if they knew someone had that kind of money.  But I'm thankful I have to earn my money.  I appreciate every dollar I still have in my pocket at the end of the day.

reb

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Re: Lucky
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2012, 08:13:34 PM »
robert, if you are 'into' documentaries, a couple that i have found spellbinding are 'the Smartest Guys in the Room' and 'the Ascent of Money':

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ascentofmoney/

much of society seems to think that 'we are so evolved'. in fact, the predators still take the food out of the mouths of prey. frankly, i believe this is human nature.  when human nature changes, perhaps this will change.  what man has actually accomplished is to take some who are incapable of surviving (for whatever reason) and to enable them to survive. i'm never sure on any given day if this is a 'good thing' or not in the long run...in the long run, as Keynes famously said, we are all dead...so :)

the 'voluntary taxes' like speeding, buying lottery tickets, buying a large home in an expensive neighborhood....these are the mark of someone who doesn't care about managing their resources.

some years ago....i was taking welding classes from a master welder. he had lived in the area most of his life, and was one of those guys who 'knows everyone'. he knew a guy on the 'powerball lottery board'. on break one night, he was telling me that out of some 20+/- people who had one over a million dollars out of that lottery, the board member had told him that 19 +/- had gone bankrupt. one family took the 'lump sum'. bought cars for everyone in the family, new big home, new clothes blah blah....and in august of that year, realized they couldn't pay the income tax due....i guess either not enough was deducted from the payout, or they had worked part year before winning...and they ALL had to go get jobs to pay income tax.

makes me laugh every time i think of it.

robert

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Re: Lucky
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2012, 11:14:44 PM »
Reb, I have planned to watch the ascent of money one day - it looks very interesting.

I like learning about reality, and about people as a society. That's why I like documentaries. That's why I also don't like most reality shows, since they are about individuals I have no interest in. Mantracker is an exception... :)

http://www.mantracker.ca/indexb.html

DetroitBlues

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Re: Lucky
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2012, 11:16:32 AM »
What is Mantracker?

robert

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Re: Lucky
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2012, 12:44:55 PM »
Mantracker is my favourite show! See this http://www.mantracker.ca/indexb.html

The only "reality" show I will watch. Except for Survivorman. :)

DetroitBlues

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Re: Lucky
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2012, 01:49:58 PM »
I looked on the website.  Is it some guy who tracks down people for fun?

robert

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Re: Lucky
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2012, 04:27:40 PM »
Yeah, he is a master tracker. Really fun to watch how they try to outsmart him.

Two people take off into the bush with a map, a compass and a head start. Mantracker is on horseback, armed with a local guide and an arsenal of forensic skills. The prey have 36 hours to reach a finish line some 25 miles away without getting caught. How they escape is up to them.

reb

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Re: Lucky
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2012, 09:25:09 PM »
when i had cable, robert, i used to watch mantracker.  the guy is amazing. besides the fact he has a great horse that don't throw him in the tules, he understands the outdoors like few people. the only other person i can think of who might be at that level is tom brown:

http://www.trackerschool.com/

brown's books are entertaining and educational.

DetroitBlues

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Re: Lucky
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2012, 11:43:21 PM »
Yeah, he is a master tracker. Really fun to watch how they try to outsmart him.

Two people take off into the bush with a map, a compass and a head start. Mantracker is on horseback, armed with a local guide and an arsenal of forensic skills. The prey have 36 hours to reach a finish line some 25 miles away without getting caught. How they escape is up to them.

How many have escaped?

robert

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Re: Lucky
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2012, 12:50:26 AM »
Too bad they fired him! They had an argument about how much Mantracker was getting paid, from what I understand. Bottom line - they let him go. Which I think sucks. Mantracker IS Terry Grant. It would be like having the Jay Leno show with Barbara Walters as host.

diaper head

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Re: Lucky
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2012, 01:02:51 PM »
 if you guys like documentaries, here is a good place to find them on a zillion different subjects:

http://documentaryheaven.com/

as for the lottery? i have a slightly altered perspective than some of you.  my wife and i, we play $5/week.   i would spend more money than that on bus fare to the movies, where i would pa still another $30 at the least. $5/ week (we never play more than that) isn't going to mean squat on my retirement, because i'm not going to live that long.  it's a medical thing.
we keep a journal, just as an experiment.  informal analysis says we actually play for free about 20% of the time.  any winnings go back to tix. but only $5/week.  i may never win, but the money comes out of our entertainment budget. because for me, it's fun to participate, and who knows? lightning could strike.  if it did, i have a plan for that.  at 47, buying a ferrari is a little ridiculous.
i don't want a giant house or to live in a gated community.  i'm unable to drink heavily, and never liked hard drugs.   i won't go broke smoking the occasional joint. maybe i could spend it all on music gear? except that i prefer  guitars under $1000 as a matter of principle. my siblings are already upper middle class borderline wealthy.  i don't have to worry about them. besides they live in another country.    canada doesn't tax the lottery winnings. only  capitol gains realized the next year.
i just play a small amount for fun, and my lifestyle wouldn't change that much if i did win.
i'd like to open a sammich shop, or an inconvenience store,  for something to do that wouldn't be very important, but would encourage some human contact/interaction with my community

hillbilly-joe

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Re: Lucky
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2012, 07:09:51 PM »
Last week I played and got 3 numbers. I was so happy that I won. A winning of ¥1000 yen. Wow!  I was dreaming for about 2 hours how I would spend it. Go to Mc Donalds, have a cup of coffee, buy some donuts and spend the rest on Australian peanuts.  I went to the lottery station to cash in. And guess what!  :'( I didn't win. The 3rd number was a bonus number and doesn't count on the ¥1000 winning. My heart sunk.  Oh well, I'm going to play it again today at ¥200.