Lottery Jackpot

“The man who has won millions at the cost of his conscience is a failure.”  B. C. Forbes

When the lottery jackpot was only a mere $800 million I stopped to get gas at one of those corner gas stations.  As I slipped into the long line I noticed a middle aged woman clutching her purse.  Her over-sized black jacket pulled closed in front and the collar hid half of her face.  “I want,” she leaned forward to the female cashier, “$330 in” she leaned closer, “PowerBall tickets.”

The cashier’s eyes widened as the color faded from her face.  I’d been to this store before and was acquainted with how this specific cashier dreaded the lottery machine.  The other cashier who always took over the lottery ticket sales for her seemed no where in sight.  “I need help with a lottery sale.”  She yelled to the back room.  “She wants $330 in tickets.”

The female cashier motioned for the woman to move to the other side of the counter next to the lottery machine.  The male cashier came out from the back room and laughed.  “One day you will have to learn this machine.”  He joked with the female cashier.  She merely nodded.  He turned to look at the woman in the black coat, “How can I help?”

The woman explained that she needed several tickets for each member of the group that sent money with her.  She laughed as they both worked out the math in their heads.  He then counted the money.  As the tickets started to churn out of the machine more people lined up in the lottery ticket line.  “What will do if one of the other tickets wins?”  He asked the woman.

“Which ever ticket wins it was my ticket.”  She declared with a nervous laugh.

“One you bought at a different time?”

“Exactly.  No matter what if one of these wins I won the jackpot not them.”  He laughed with her as she collected her tickets and dashed out the door.

The next person in line asked for a ticket to the state lottery with a jackpot of around 4 million.

Several people behind them, and the cashier, scoffed “just the state?  Not Powerball?”

“Just the state.”  Came the reply.  The cashier and the people behind them in line commented on how they really should get a Powerball ticket as each of them were doing.  The person left the store.

On the radio in the car the DJ told about how another person had been sued by a group of people who went together to buy lottery tickets.  Apparently they too tried to claim that a ticket they purchased outside of the group won.  The group suing them won their case.  It got me to wonder if that woman, if she won, would actually try to claim the same thing.  If in that moment of finding out that a life altering win greed would completely override her conscience and she would take the ticket and lie to the members of her group.  Then I wondered if she realized that they can track down where and when tickets are sold; and, they would have her on tape conspiring with the cashier about how she “won” even if another ticket in the pile won.  At what cost would her big win come?  Why would anyone with such a large jackpot allow anyone else to purchase their ticket?

The thing that I wonder if any of the people in her group realize that the lottery is also sold online by questionable online dealers to anyone outside the U.S.  Oregon State recently had a $6 million jackpot prize go to an Iraq citizen who went to an online website and purchased several tickets.  That website has people inside the state of Oregon buy the tickets, scan them and send a copy to the person.  Then after the drawing they check to see what the winners are and notify the person who has to come to that specific state to claim their prize.  Oregon is currently paying out that jackpot and as the lottery official commented, “who knows how often this actually occurs.”  So the chances of actually winning are even lower.  Then there is the fact that rarely does a jackpot from one of the multi-state lotteries go to anyone on the West Coast.  All of that combined I put the woman and anyone in her groups chances at incredibly low.

In October 2015 a persons odds of winning went from 1 in 175 million to 1 in 292 million due to changes in the game.  And I thought the January 2012 jump to $2 a line was a bit questionable.  As of October 2015 players now have more numbers to pick from.  The first group of 5 numbers are now picked from a pool of 69 numbers; up from 59.  The Powerball number itself is now picked from 26 numbers down from 39; so your odds of getting $4 from matching that are a bit better.  The odds of winning the secondary prize of matching all 5 numbers is now 1 in 11.7 million.  Apparently there were 114 tickets in 2015 with prizes of $1 million that went unclaimed.

Here are just a few of the things that you have a better chance of as opposed to winning Powerball:

  • Have an IQ of 190 or greater (1 out of 107 million)
  • Dying from a bee, hornet or wasp sting (1 in 6.1 million)
  • Give birth to quadruplets, even without the help of fertility treatments – (1 in 729,000)
  • Be killed by an asteroid strike (1 in 700,000)
  • Killed by a vending machine (1 in 112 million)
  • Being an American billionaire (1 in 575,097)
  • Being drafted by an NBA team (1 in 6.8 million)
  • Be killed by a lightning strike – (1 in 164,968)
  • Die by drowning (1 in 1,113)
  • Getting struck by lightning (1 in 1 million)
  • Be struck by lightning, while drowning (1 in 183 million)

Have you bought a Powerball ticket?

Would you trust someone else to buy and hold the ticket?

Do you check your lottery tickets?



The Lottery (

Powerball (


6 responses to “Lottery Jackpot”

  1. Casino gambling began when I lived in New Jersey. Just before we moved the front page of the Philadelphia paper held a photo of children asleep on the rug of a casino lobby. their parents had left them there all night while they gambled. inside.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It depresses me to see people throw their money away. $330 is not an inconsequential sum of money. There is new savings program in Oregon and Michigan which uses the lottery concept, but you keep your savings. The winner has an amount added to their savings account. I think for every $50 of savings at year-end, it gives you a ticket on the drawing. So, this woman would have 6 tickets. If she won, I think they add some amount.

    Liked by 1 person

    • $330 is a lot of money and could be used for a lot of other things. I don’t know how many people were in the group or how much they each put in for the tickets. I do recall a pile printed out.

      I’ve heard about that program to get people to save money. It’s run by Credit Unions. All the states have to do is pass the law to allow them to do the program.

      Liked by 1 person

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