Posts Tagged ‘Lobster’

Lotto Failure- Plans Significantly Scaled Back

Well, I did not win the mega-millions lotto. But my office pool did hit a $2 combo and my share is 15 cents, though the whole thing is in dispute. Some people put in a dollar, others, like me, put in $2, and one person put in $5. I’m pretty sure my share should be more like 30 cents.

But these problems pale in comparison to the warfare that’s broken out in a Baltimore suburb where a woman who bought winning lotto tickets on behalf of her co-workers at a McDonald’s now says they don’t get any of it because she went out and bought the ticket separately on her own. But from the same Seven-Eleven. Good luck with that, lady. I believe your life has just gotten a little more complicated than it was 72 hours ago, back when you didn’t have to worry about hiring large, burly men to protect your life.

Now that I know I didn’t win the big one, I have had to shelve my plans to buy an island. The research I conducted along the way revealed that they range in price from $50 thousand to $40 million. The problem with the $50 thousand one is that it’s in Fiji, which, of course, is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a one acre plot with an ocean view (actually it can’t help but have an ocean view, it’s kind of surrounded). But visiting it, is pricey unless you can get work in Fiji itself. It’s about $6 thousand to fly there round-trip, so ten visits alone would cost more than the entire island.

I was also going to eat lobster every day but did find the local Harris Teeter sells a fine export from Chile- langostinos- kind of like miniature lobster tails. I figure if I really want to, I could have those once a week.

I was also going to figure out which continent to visit first between Asia and Europe. I have decided, for the time being, to remain in North America. Over in Pentagon Row, the restaurant section of Pentagon City, there’s a quaint village-like atmosphere which seems reminiscent of the Denmark exhibit at Epcot Center at Disney World. I am going to walk there and check it out.

Finally, after much consideration and a conversation with my accountant, I have decided I want my 30 cents distributed in 26 equal annual payments. This will ensure I will remain cautious and disciplined with the money and not spend the entire cash reward in an impulsive manner.

I have also decided to try and keep my job, if they’ll have me. Based on my checkered career, the odds on that are slightly better than winning the lottery. But I must say, the ‘ol workplace is looking much, much better than it did, say, last Friday- a few hours before the drawing.

Lotto Fever- Lobster Everyday and an Island (But I’ll Give Most to Charity)

Someone please explain to me why everybody plays the lottery when it reaches half a billion dollars- but no one really cares when it’s, say, at $70 million.

So you’re going about your life and if you’re a regular, normal, ‘ol person and you’ve got just enough for rent or a mortgage, groceries, cable TV, and maybe a vacation or two if you’re lucky- how much difference is there really between $600 million and “just” $70 million?

Are you kidding? I’d consider $10K to be a gift from heaven. Hell, most people would be thrilled to find a $5 bill on the street.

The psychology in connection to all this is rather interesting. Suddenly, co-workers who get along just great, but who are now pooling their money together to buy a couple dozen tickets, start thinking like lawyers and certified public accountants. “Well, if Jane Doe put in $5 but Mary Jane only put in $2, clearly, Jane’s share of the mega-million lottery would be 2 and half times as much- an extra $60 million for a mere $3 more in initial investment- Hey that’s not fair!”

My girlfriend, who actually borrowed $5 from me to buy a handful of tickets, insisted that if lightening strikes at our particular Seven-Eleven in Pentagon City, she should get a larger share because her family is bigger. I disagreed somewhat vehemently to this approach. Don’t make me hire a lawyer, honey.

Then there’s all the math that’s being thrown out there. You could buy $170 million worth of lottery tickets, for example, and in picking every possible number, you would be guaranteed to win nearly $300 million after taxes. Except it would take you 28 years to actually mark all 170 million game tickets. I saw this in two different newspaper articles…in the same paper! And it was not helpful.

And the time people spend thinking about things like:

“Well am I going to take it all in one lump sum or split it up into 26 annual payments?”
“Which continent will I visit first, Europe or Asia?”
“I wonder how much an island costs?”
“This means I could eat lobster every single day.”
“I would give almost all, half, some, a little bit to charity.”

There will, of course, be millions of very, very disappointed people this weekend. The TV news guy will be announcing that a collection of 20 workers at a plastics factory in Medford, Oregon managed to win it all and we’ll all be going- “Medford, friggin’, Oregon??? Figures. Stuff like this never happens here in River City, dammit.”

And then the next day all 20 employees from Medford, Oregon will be sitting there at the press conference with the gigantic cardboard check behind them, flashing those toothy grins we all want to wipe off their faces.

There will be the story of the one incredibly cheap, thrifty worker who decided not to join his colleagues in shelling out a few bucks and misses out on the whole thing. Most of them will leave their jobs at the plastics factory in a matter of hours, except for one really wholesome, goodie-two-shoes guy who doesn’t want to be changed by the whole experience and decides he’ll stay at the factory.

Five years later will come the newspaper articles that report all 20 workers from the plastics factory in Medford, Oregon managed to go broke.

So good luck to you all. If the winner happens to be a friend or a family member, I remind you now that a mere 1/600th of your winnings will be more than enough to take care of me and my progeny for the rest of our lives and we will be extremely appreciative and will certainly have a place for you in our hearts until the end of time, ‘ol buddy, ‘ol pal.

March Madness Office Pool Win!

It’s been a long time coming but the stars, a great borrowed formula, and faith in one of the great college coaches of all time have combined to produce a victory in the ol’ 30-person office pool.

First of all, I’m inordinately happy that I have an office to go to in the first place. I suppose one could crash the occasional office pool but it seems rude and just a little weird.

It was one of the best NCAA title games ever played. Butler is for real. Duke is an efficient team, equal parts brute force and smooth jumpers but the Bull Dogs hung in there with them every second of the game nearly nailing a desperation mid-court shot that truly would have been the greatest finish in the history of the sport.

Lessons learned:

♦  Take emotion out of the picks- everybody has their favorites, but sentimentality gets you nowhere. Because I work and live in DC, there are plenty of discarded bracket sheets that had lots of Georgetown’s and Maryland’s going far into the tourney.

♦  The early rounds do matter. You won’t win without taking some big games in the Elite-8 and Final Four rounds- but you have to have an edge in some of those early games. The formula I used pointed to six 1st round upsets and four of them came through. It also got me another upset in the 2nd round. In the end, that was precisely the margin that separated me from the runner-up.

♦  Find a winning formula! There were many out there to choose from in cyber-world; great sites created by true basketball and statistics geeks who know their stuff. I went with a system that was heavy on strength-of-schedule. There are so many match-ups in the tournament that would never happen in the regular season, that it seems factoring in the caliber of a team’s opponents is a pretty necessary ingredient.

♦ There are going to be upsets, but ultimately, it’s an established team in an established conference that’s going to go far or all the way. Most people thought Kansas was that team. I happened to think Duke was. I had the good fortune of watching them play in the ACC tournament and they had a real clutch quality about them.

♦  There’s still room for mysticism. One of the intriguing stats that I fell in love with was Duke’s national titles as a #1 seed. They won under such circumstances in 1992 and 2001. Now it’s nine years later again- and they did it. Note: watch out for Duke in 2019!

If you’ll forgive me, the pool’s commissioner is strangely silent this morning. Unless she has fled to Mexico, we have some business to conduct.

Hello, Mr. Lobster.  Hello, Mr. Porterhouse….