Mega Millions, Powerball: The lottery, explanations

At the fall of 2018, Mega Millions fever was infected in America. The jackpot for the Mega Millions – one of the two largest national lottery games, as well as Powerball – was $ 1.6 billion, the highest in history, climbing, and across the country, cartoon dollar signs were hitting into the eyes of people.

After weeks of engaging media commentary, it was announced: A single ticket, which was sold at KC Mart in Simpsonville, South Carolina, won the grand prize – the margin with a head in 302.6 million.

But the ticket was not claimed for months. A winner has only 180 days to pass the prize ticket; otherwise, the money would be dispersed among the states based on ticket sales, and would make the expected money for South Carolina ($ 61 million) and even the clerk who sold the store. golden golden ticket ($ 50,000) with them.

Finally, on 4 March, just overtaking, a woman came forward to claim the prize. But because South Carolina law allows the winners of the lottery to remain anonymous, we might never know the name of the person who was lucky enough to walk with a lump sum of almost $ 878 million, the biggest payment. a single winner in history.

Four days later, news outlets went on to a 54-year-old unemployed man's story that won $ 173 million from a Mega Millions ticket he bought – and he left it wrong – by Quick Check Phillipsburg, New Jersey, and was able to claim back after Good Saidar the ticket to turn on the store.

We love stories like this. The prize draw is a key coverage of local news coverage, and occasionally, when the jackpot climbs quite high, the national press also tackles the action – and people who might not think of it. own a ticket. It is a strong mix of jealousy and hope; in a world where the hard-working and enduring ethos in America is becoming more like a lie, because the stacked chips seem to be in our face anyway, why was not the yours, or yourself, who binds and decides in some way that a quick action is not taken by Quick Check on the interstate?

But while it may seem that a product of modern culture departed from Instagram and the Kardashians, the game of lightning strike is similar to that of the country, the lottery roots in America are as good. old with the country itself.

A brief history of the lottery

image of a Lotto ticket from 1776

Commission of Ronshelley / Wikimedia

First, some definitions. Against the North American State and Provincial Lottery Association (NASPL) “lottery” can refer to three things:

1) An entity that performs or administers lottery games – a government agency or model government or a corporation normally licensed by government. 2) A game in which all plays have the same opportunity to win. 3) Game with three components for the players: a prize to win, a chance to win and not to win, and a consideration element (such as purchase a ticket) to enter the game.

Under the umbrella of lottery games there are many types: daily numbers or games (eg Pick 3 and Pick 4), instant games (scratch tickets), keno (where players choose numbers to match the numbers choosing the game from a certain number of numbers – 10 of 20 of 80, for example), online games, and more. The main games that collect the largest pollutants in North America, so the most you heard about, are the Mega Millions and Powerball games (more on them below).

Although the routes have expanded to play over time, as well as the large pots, the basic concept of lottery is disturbed into the country's DNA; they were used for the first time to fund the colonies and ultimately were the provinces of the newly established states. As Jonathan Cohen explained in a great piece of pops, they served (and still do) as a form of voluntary tax, giving the government significant sums without increasing the type of repayment arising from tax rates: t

Once the states took control of the lottery system, they could authorize games as they saw fit to help individual institutions raise money. State-owned governments were lotteries, which were used to draw tickets, and would be lent by politicians to the organizations that allowed the state to make drawings.

While conservative Protestants opposed gambling for centuries, many of the first church buildings in the United States were built with lottery money. Many of the best universities in the world are also receiving a lottery. Some of the Harvard, Yale, Brown, Princeton, and Dartmouth campuses were paid for by lottery, and the legislature in New York had a lottery to fund the creation of the University of Columbia. And because lotteries were linked to specific institutions – or even separate buildings – the public had clear evidence of their effectiveness in avoiding taxes and building the new nation.

Cranes fell from their favor around the 1850s and were illegal in the 1890s, and the modern lotto did not exist until the mid 20th century: the first in 1934 with the Puerto Rico Lottery, then 30 years later with the New Hampshire Sweepstakes. The lottery was then illegal at federal level, but the Department of Justice decided that the New Hampshire competition would be allowable as long as tickets did not come across lines (people were arrested in Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York for possession). on New Hampshire lottery tickets.

According to NH Magazine, it was extremely attractive: People came to the Granite State to participate in the sweepstakes, which were a horse race; The names of ticket holders would be drawn and randomly assigned to one of the 11 competing horses, and dollar amounts were named for the first place ($ 100,000), runner-up ($ 50,000), and so on. So if his horse got out. By the time the race started, the state sold $ 5.7 million in $ 3 ticket. Among the first winners at the Lotto was a bar called Frank Malkus and his wife Eleanor, who won $ 100,000 from a stallion called Roman Brothers (about $ 819,000 today).

Alvarez Fernando, the jockey for the first Roman winner, Roman Brother, with the winners Paul Cordone and his wife, after brushbrush New Hampshire.
Herb Scharfman / LIFE / Getty Images Images Collection

Subsequently, the lottery began to land in other states. According to the NAASPL, Massachusetts, he pioneered the scratch game in 1975; the “quick pick” number option, which now accounts for 35 per cent of all lottery sales, launched in 1982; and three years later, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont banded together for the first multi-state lottery, the Three-State Megabucks.

These days, 44 states and the District of Columbia run their own lotteries. Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Utah, and, somewhat incredibly, Nevada, which are the gaming paradise of Las Vegas, have the six states – and not where you can play Powerball or Mega Millions. The reasons vary, against the BBC; Religious absences are motivated from the absences of Alabama and Utah; the state governments of Mississippi and Nevada, which allow gaming, already cut this income and do not want a competition entity to cut the profits; and Alaska, due to its budget surplus from oil drilling, there is no “fiscal urgency” that other states could encourage to take the lottery.

So there are people from those states who want to crack the multi-million dollar jackpots that are regularly offered by the multi-state lotto games, Powerball and Mega Millions, from the lucky.

And what could you ask, the difference between the two games, anyway? According to Slate, there is not much. Powerball draws five balls from 69, compared to five from 70 for Mega Millions. And although the two were introduced at different times (Powerball in 1988, Mega Millions in 1996) and were originally mutually exclusive – he said that one game could not be played – this was not true because they combined jurisdictions in 2009. Now they are being offered everywhere where there is a state lotto, and against Nick Greene of Slate, there is little significant difference between them, which is likely to stimulate sales:

If everyone seems to be pushing forward with a Powerball to play one month and then add up to Mega Millions tickets the next, that is because he has no business. The cycle of mega-jackpots is highly publicized and subsequently the horror of winning less than three design. Powerball reduced its prizes to provide more prizes in 2015, and Mega Millions continued to sue two years later. The result is a kind of seesaw effect, in which the games leave a terrible horror; grow their pots more.

Attendees argue that the lottery is already on the edge

A notice for the Powerball jackpot appears in midtown Manhattan on January 11, 2016.
Xinhua / Getty Images News Agency

Cranes could be great for states, whose swellte weirs are caused by ticket sales and winners, but that money comes from somewhere, and studies after studies have suggested that people on low incomes, t minorities, and people with gaming addiction.

Alx Chang Vox looked at the data for Connecticut, which has some of the richest and poorest neighborhoods in their country, and discovered that lotto ticket sales are disproportionately targeted on zip codes with more residents on income. low and minority.

Business Insider analysis of census data, which divided the total income from all the lotteries in a state according to the estimated number of residents, found that Massachusetts spends most on lottery tickets, on average $ 767 in total. per person in 2016. West Virginia runner-up at $ 594, and Rhode Island is ranked third at $ 513. All spending adds up to ten million dollars to state governments, which go to education mostly (though it only represents a tiny fraction of the state's overall expenditure).

Although many would probably not claim that education for education is a bad thing, the demographics of ordinary lottery games are associated with the games against the games. A Banking survey found that, among families in the lowest income bracket, 28 per cent were playing the lottery once a week, and these non-significant ticket purchases represent more than $ 400 per year – money and money. They could go towards paying debts or accumulating savings.

NASPL disputes these results. Its website links to Gallup's poll in 2016 which was less likely to have a state lottery ticket for low-income Americans and low-educated Americans in the past year – around 40 per cent for people with family incomes less than $ 36,000. per annum, compared with 56 per cent and 53 per cent for middle and high income, respectively.

However, the business model of the lottery depends on the basis of regular players. As Les Bernal, anti-state-sponsored gaming activist, with Pew Charitable Trusts, state-sponsored lotteries are highly dependent on high users, “receiving up to 70 to 80 per cent of their 10 per cent income. first of those who use the lottery. "The problem is so pervasive that some state legislators even put out proposals to limit lotteries, or at least restrict new play modes such as the sale of ticket credit cards and online games.

And even for those rare people who pay their purchases a hopeful ticket, their questions may be starting.

“Curse” of lottery winners

Andrew (Jack) Whittaker (center) builds the Jewell wife (right) and the granddaughter Brandi Bragg, 15, with lunch at Tavern on the Green in Central Park after Whittaker's Powerball Jackpot gets $ 314.9 million a Day Christmas. Whittaker struck the 120-million-to-one margin with a rope in what ever was the biggest ever Ticket Lottery Ticket.
Susan Watts / NY Daily News Archive through Getty Images

The stories of the winners of the lottery could inspire jealousy, but there is no shortage of schadenfreude – giving terrible stories about the lottery boys' lottery industry.

Although curses are not true (as far as I know), it seemed that the striking lottery before a series of luck was terrible for many people rather than ordinary people. With an introduction: In most states, lottery winners are not legally allowed to remain anonymous. As Aditi Shrikant wrote for Vox:

Winners must sign the ticket to officially claim it, then contact their state lottery commission, which announces that the lottery is closed through the winning people. In eight states – Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, and Texas – the winners are allowed to hide their names, but even then, they can not remain anonymous below a threshold certain earnings or a period of time.

It makes sense from the perspective of the states: It makes it easier for others to imagine themselves in the shoes of that lucky person to face and to put that name on that big money, and so he can ticket sales which have entered a budget. Full names, hometowns, and even photographs of former winners, are listed right on Powerball and Mega Millions websites.

But this also means that the winner is now a low-grade reputation – and a possible goal for robbery, kidnapping, scam artists, and even murder.

Abraham Shakespeare, who won $ 31 million in 2006 and found his body in 2010 was concealed under a concrete slab; and Jeffrey Dampier, who subsequently received $ 20 million and was shot by his sister-in-law and lover, was kidnapped; and Urooj Khan, who died dead the day after reaching $ 1 million moderately and was found to have poisoned cyanide.

Perhaps the most cited story is Jack Whittaker, a kindly West Virginia man who became a country hero in his state after winning $ 314 million in 2002. As April Witt wrote for Washington Post magazine in 2005, he destroyed good luck for his life: he robbed and sued repeatedly, he got DUI, his business fell and married from each other, and his granddaughter Brandi died less than two years later from overdose drugs.

And this is not even in touch with a simpler issue of financial irregularity. According to the National Endowment of Financial Education, 70 per cent of lottery winners are not bankrupt in a few years. As Jim Shagawat, financial advisor to Windfall Wealth Advisors, said, you could point out that “many lottery winners don't have enough money. They do things like too much too much for families and friends, or scam artists benefit from them, or they get a feeling that this money is infinite and that they start spending it all. ”

People on low incomes living with pay for wages pay – again, investors may not have a lot of experience on the lottery regularly – investment or savings. “If you are a child trust fund, you are kinda taught about the team of consultants you need" to manage your money, Shagawat told me. Many people may handle smaller amounts but they don't He said: "Suddenly, the way you did things no longer works."

Don McNay, financial adviser and author Lifetime lessons from the Lottery, put more bluntly. “They are affected by the money,” he told Joe Nocera in New York Times in 2012 about lottery winners. “It just causes loss of their values.”

Gaming of conflicts

A woman buys Mega Millions tickets an hour before pulling the $ 1.6 billion nobles at a liquor store in downtown Washington, DC, on October 23, 2018.
Eric Baradat / AFP / Getty Images

As the jackpot type is likely to be created, you can be a small overnight miniator – you will probably be hit by lightning or make a guess in each individual team in your Sweet Madness 16 March as right It is not surprising that there is a long history of people trying to stop the lottery, sometimes literally.

Highline HuffPost tells the story of a 60s couple who made almost $ 27 million over nine years through games in his native state of Michigan as the husband noticed a fault in the rules of games. Their tactic: buy tickets in bulk, thousands at a time, to ensure that their conflicts were in favor, turning the lottery to a full-time job. They started traveling regularly to play a similar game in Massachusetts, where a group of MIT students did the same thing at the same time.

The two competing bet in the game, called WinFall Cash, departed about an investigation by Boston Globe reporter and went into a national scandal; The state lottery commission went on to license several shops selling tickets to suspend both groups and then announced that WinFall Money would be abolished completely.

A woman who had a PhD in statistics from Stanford won the Texas lottery four times in 10 years with nearly $ 20 million (and not provided by them, compared to MIT and Michigan players).

Stefan Mandel, a Roman economist who lived in Australia, won not only the $ 27 million jackpot but also $ 900,000 in additional prizes by systematically buying all number combinations in the Virginia draw. As Zachary Crockett wrote to the Hustle, 14 law enforcement agencies were subject to an investigation by Mandel but ultimately it was not found guilty of an offense; Crockett, “in his native Australia, writes that he was a country hero: It is a widely distributed cartoon which showed him as a kangaroo square out of the United States with a pouch of silver.”

And in 2017, PennLive published a full investigative series on the surprisingly high number of lottery players who won multiple times – too many times to be statistically plausible (although hard evidence of illegal duties still does not exist).

Of course, there were also some high profile cases of direct fraud. The spectacular “Triple Six Fix” event took place in 1980, where Nick Perry, the Pennsylvania “Daily Number” player, cooked a plot to weigh the ping-pong balls used in the drawing to make sure he hit. With the help of the laxlyly lax security of the lottery, Perry pulled him off, and won $ 1.8 million with the sensible “666” drawing – but officers were immediately suspicious and sent an investigation which ended in criminal conviction for Perry.

Perhaps a recorder called Eddie Tipton provided the largest lottery scam in the United States as a “Lotto hot fraud scandal”. As the New York Times explains, Tipton worked for the multi-state lottery employee as a security employee and discovered how to play the lottery by inserting a fraudulent code in the random number generator machine to play the system in lotteries. across different countries. Throughout the long-term scam, he received friends and family members to collect the winning tickets, and was eventually awarded to him after collecting a $ 16.5 million ticket in 2010. Tipton was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in 2017 (though he could go out on parody much earlier).

While Americans may have a good grifter story, it seems that the people who play the lottery do not encourage the same – perhaps because the suspects have long been starting to be much more for those who play with the rules. personal when someone is at a profit by putting them aside. HuffPost's Jason Fagone added: “Even if the lottery is a shitty deal and a sucker bet, everyone who plays at least is getting the same holiday.”

However, it seems that the worthwhile incompetence of winning and some occasional actors stories is not enough for many people to discourage a few dollars in their pocket and dream wrong in their hearts. After all, the Powerball jackpot this weekend is up again, to nearly $ 500 million. As the lottery lottery met Nick Perry, “If so, get and find; if not, better luck tomorrow. ”

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