Unexpectedly Intriguing!
October 3, 2006

The conventional wisdom, where the lottery is concerned, is that it's a fool's game. We here at Political Calculations have a different view. We think it's a fool's game up until the jackpots get really gi-normous (how do you spell that anyway?!)

The real question isn't about whether or not you should consider playing the lottery, but instead how huge does the grand prize need to be to have the potential for winning the jackpot to be worth the cost of playing the game? And that's where our tools come in - we can work out just what the jackpot has to be to worth the price of a single ticket!

But that's not all - we can also find out whether it would make more sense for the winner of that grand prize to take the money as a lump sum or have it paid out over a number of years!

Playing the Lottery
Subcategory Title Description
Cost Benefit The Cost of Risk vs. Benefit Our first cut at finding the prize amount for making the lottery worth the cost of playing. Odd, in that the same math can be used to determine whether the remote benefit of a given medical procedure is worth its cost!
Cost Benefit Revisiting the Lottery Our improved tool for finding the magic jackpot number that would make the lottery worth playing! The only trick is to not play at all until it hits the big number....
Getting the Payout The Lottery Winner's Dilemma Maybe you've won the lottery, or maybe you've just come into an unexpected windfall with different payout options. Either way, our tool can help you decide which is better: taking the money over time or as a lump sum today.

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Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

ironman at politicalcalculations.com

Thanks in advance!

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Materials on this website are published by Political Calculations to provide visitors with free information and insights regarding the incentives created by the laws and policies described. However, this website is not designed for the purpose of providing legal, medical or financial advice to individuals. Visitors should not rely upon information on this website as a substitute for personal legal, medical or financial advice. While we make every effort to provide accurate website information, laws can change and inaccuracies happen despite our best efforts. If you have an individual problem, you should seek advice from a licensed professional in your state, i.e., by a competent authority with specialized knowledge who can apply it to the particular circumstances of your case.