Isn’t that what usually happens? Some old bastard retiree who owns his own house and has no student loans wins it all and still keeps his job mowing greens at the golf course? Well, even though it’s possible for this record jackpot to be won by someone who deserves it (read: me), it’s not very likely. And that possibility is clearly fueling the record ticket sales, as CNN reports:
The multistate jackpot, which lottery officials are calling “the largest lottery jackpot in world history,” has captivated the nation, has caused long lines at convenience stores and has many dreaming of creative ways to quit their jobs if they get the lucky numbers.
“Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing will truly be a spectacular event in lottery history and provides an unprecedented opportunity for players to take a chance on a half-billion dollar dream for just the $1 price of a ticket,” said Gary Grief, executive director of the Texas Lottery and lead director for the Mega Millions group.
And perhaps crazier still, if no one wins tonight, the jackpot for next Tuesday will reach $975 million bones. Richard Lustig, a seven-time lottery winner (and asshole!) advises purchasing tickets in groups and avoiding the quick-picks, but cautions against profligate spending:
“Don’t go crazy with this,” he said. “Don’t get what’s called lottery fever. Do not spend grocery money. Do not spend rent money.”
Even a University of Evil (Chicago) economist is getting in on the lottery advice action, cautioning winners to avoid the annuity and take the lump sum:
The choice comes down to interest rates, and with interest rates at zero, the lump sum just makes better financial sense, Goolsbee said.
“If you are fortunate enough to win the lottery, you most certainly want to take the lump sum,” Goolsbee said.
Yesterday, Gawker’s own Hamilton Nolan wrote a piece in which he reminded us of the odds against winning the lottery. While his math is solid, his reasoning will doubtlessly fall on deaf ears as millions of people buy tickets in the hopes of quitting their jobs, paying off their student loans, or perhaps more humbly, sexing up a bunch of Hungarian strippers in the greatest coke party that the world has ever known. Oops–I guess I gave away my plans for the winnings!
Did you buy your tickets yet? What are your plans for the winnings? Do they involve Hungarian strippers? Or robots? Discuss in the comments!