The Hazards of Gambling

The Cunning Plan: Go to the dog track with sufficient money to bet on every possible winning combination.

The Anticipated Result: Profit!

What could possibly go wrong?

This reminds me of a Colorado lottery jackpot some years ago … you had to choose six numbers in the range from 1 to 42 to win. If I remember correctly, the cards that you used for selecting your numbers had eight rows of five numbers, and a ninth row with the last two numbers. In the drawing in question, the numbers in each corner of the layout were drawn, along with two others that fit into an obvious and fairly regular geometric pattern.

Because the pattern was fairly regular and obvious, more than one person had the winning numbers. I couldn’t verify this with a web search, but I believe that seventeen winners shared a ten million dollar jackpot. Given the dollar amount in question, I don’t believe that any of the winners were given the annuity option; I think they were all required to take cash. They didn’t get that much, because the cash prize is the amount it would take to buy an annuity for the listed prize amount, so they were all sitting around in the interview looking somewhat glum while saying that they were happy things turned out that way.

I imagine the British couple at the dog track had the same reaction (immediate glee followed by disappointment) to their dog track escapade. They’re worse off, however, since they actually suffered a loss, which the lottery winners didn’t.

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