Great Day to You, Friday Fun Facters!
Welcome Back: Autum. Today is the first day of the fall season. Soon, besides the fit hitting the shan, guess what else will be flying…
Silver Lining: Oktoberfest is in full swing!
A Tearful Goodbye: Summer. We all wish very much that you could stay longer than the two or three weeks you hang around Northeast Ohio. For our readers in the southern United States, we know you’ll be enjoying Summer until a little after Thanksgiving. Keep her healthy!
Fare-Thee-Well!: To the Indians hopes for the post season. Yet another year impersonating the Chicago Cubs. Well, there’s always next year.
Earlier this week, I hit the local grocery store in an entirely futile attempt to pick up some items advertised in the weekly circular. Since it was the last day of the ad, naturally, the store was out of everything. As I was standing on the proverbial deck of the Titanic for what seemed like the second or third time already in the week, I miraculously came up with a Plan B. (Special Note I: I say “miraculously,” as any plan that may actually work when enticing the euphemistic Titanic analogy can only be considered a miracle, correct?!). I decided to check with the customer service desk to see if I could obtain rain checks for the sail items that were out of stock.
So, I followed the easy-to-read signs at the customer service desk that instructed me to “Enter Here,” and “Please Wait Here For The Next Attendant.” Seemingly easy enough. I positioned myself between the nylon side ropes that kept us all in a nifty single file line and waited for those in front of me to progress towards the desk.
It finally dawned on me that there must be something pretty darn interesting, lengthy, or detailed going on with one of the customers at the desk.
So very interesting, indeed.
The customer was purchasing lottery tickets.
All sorts of lottery tickets…
I must say a complete menagerie of lottery tickets.
As I’m standing there watching the transaction, I start running the numbers on what are the possible & potential reasons for buying so many lottery tickets, as well as the odds of winning back what you’ve spent, let alone winning anything to show a financial gain.
Although winning the lottery varies based on lottery design, the he odds of winning a Mega Millions multi-state lottery here in the U.S. is 1 in 175, 711, 536.
The best information the Friday Fun Fact Research Department could find on lottery scratchcards is 1 in 7. Of course, the scratchcard “jackpots” are considerably smaller than the Mega Millions lottery.
My father, in fantastic quips of wisdom, tells me during random conversations that it’s easier to get struck by lightning than it is to win the lottery. Odds of getting struck by lightning:
1: 280,000 (Person)
1: 200 (Homes)
Here are some other odds, or oddities of life:
1: 4 – Pregnancy for a Healthy Couple
1: 5,000 – Getting A Hole In One
1: 13,200,000 – Becoming An Astronaut
.0000565/1 – Chance of Becoming a Professional Athlete
1: 88,000 – Odds of Dating a Supermodel
Translation: You have much better odds of becoming an astronaut than winning the lottery.
Philosophical Debate: Most people already live in “space.”
Translation: You have better odds of getting pregnant than winning at lottery scratchcards.
Philosophical Debate: I’m not touching this one w/a 10-foot…nevermind
So, what is the fascination?
Is it entertainment value?
OK, look, if your life hinges upon watching numbered balls get pushed through an air-compressed trap for excitement, we might be in trouble.
Better yet, if your entertainment consists of scratching acrylic silver paint off of a card to see if you won a fraction of the money you’ve put into the cards, we might need to find you a hobby.
Or, is it something deeper?
Is it a marketing demographics opportunity? For example, does it fall into the same category as tobacco sales – the target market is predominantly lower financial class with an assumption of less education?
There’s always some wishful thinking going on in the workplace:
- “See you next week.” “Not if I win the lottery.”
- “Well, I haven’t won the lottery yet, so I guess I’ll be here.”
- “What would you do if you won the lottery?”
And then there are those who thought they had won the lottery?!
How would you feel if you found out the numbers printed were a mistake?!
Personally speaking, living on the corner of Hard Luck & Murphy’s Law, I would expect the numbers printed to be wrong. This falls somewhere between positive thought processes & self-fulfilling prophecies, I believe…
I’ve had a few lottery scratch cards given to me along the way at one event or another. As a form of entertainment, I find sleeping to be a much better choice. I have also, on occasion, thrown in a couple bucks with everyone on larger Mega Millions jackpots just to say if you don’t take the risk, you don’t realize the gain.
We here the Friday Fun Fact Command Center have a better idea: donate the money you would invest in lottery tickets to Friday Fun Fact. I’m sure we’ll figure out a way to keep you entertained, as well as reduce our overhead costs! And, of course, buy some BEER to keep morale up during tight deadlines!
Tunes of the Week:
I Feel Lucky – Mary Chapin Carpenter
Lightning Strikes Again – Dokken
Lighting Strikes (Not Once But Twice) – The Clash
Lightning Frightening – David Bowie
Lightning In The Sky – Santana
Lightning Strikes The Postman – The Flaming Lips
Greased Lightning – John Travolta
Smokestack Lightning – Howlin’ Wolf
White Lightning – George Jones
Ride The Lightning – Metallica
Raise A Lucky Glass!
May Your Friday Be Followed By A Winning Saturday!
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