First and foremost, thank you to all who have read my past blog posts and my book, “Homey’s Adventures.”
I debated with myself to discontinue posting my new book because of the war in Ukraine. I decided to continue posting the remaining chapters of my book. The war in Ukraine is about hate. The agents of the devil are seeking to establish darkness over this country. My book is about true love. By loving God and his children, we will defeat hate and indifference. My heart goes out to all Ukrainians. I pray the light of Jesus defeats the darkness and brings love and peace to Ukraine.
As promised, I am continuing the series of all the chapters of my new book, “Homey’s Adventures Too.” I am now 71 and I decided that I did not want to spend my time haggling with editors, literary agents, and publishers. The main thing I am interested in is to write for your pleasure and mine. So, without further delay, here is Chapter 29:
Chapter 29 – Lotto
When I wrote this, the Mega Millions was up to $319 million and had a cash value of $219 million dollars in Missouri. After federal and state taxes, the take home amount was $126 million. I investigated why the government kept 200 million dollars which is around 65 percent of the total prize. The most common answer I found was that governments wastes large sums of money, and they need to keep as much as they can.
I could only get the entire $319 million if I were willing to receive annual payments of around $10 million for 30 years. I do not know about you, but I do not I have 30 years to wait around for the annual payout. I have read that the remainder of any annual payouts is paid to your estate after you die. I am sorry I do not trust the government and a bunch of lawyers in the future. I do not think taxes will be any less in the future and the government is overwhelmed in debt. So, really the cash prize is 219 million and the $319 million is a mirage.
The effective tax rate including state and federal taxes in Missouri is around 43% (1-126/219=.425) of the cash value.
Before prizes are given out, the government keeps around 40% of the money spent on the lottery and then takes another 43% in taxes of the lottery winnings. This is a total rate of around 65% [40% + (100% – 40%) x 43%=65%] This varies by state. Only the government can get away with this type of robbery. For every ticket sold to the winners, the lottery players on average only receives about 35% (100% – 65%) of the money spent on the lotteries. The government gets the rest.
This is one of the highest regressive taxes ever devised. A regressive tax is where people with low income pay the same taxes as people with higher income. A survey by Bankrate found 28 percent of Americans who earn less than $30,000 a year play the lottery at least once a week. They spend an average of $412 a year on tickets or 1.5% of their income.
Households with incomes of $75,000 and above spent $105 a year on lottery tickets, a quarter of what low-income homes spent.
Winning the lottery does not necessarily bring happiness. A West Virginia man won $315 million Powerball Jackpot in 2002. Before winning the lottery, he was already the president of a successful contracting firm. Upon winning the lottery, he donated millions to charities. He even created his own foundation with $14 million.
He had a complete family and had done charitable deeds but eventually this all changed. One by one adverse event came up after the other. He was arrested and sued, $545,000 was stolen after he visited a strip club, and a year later, another $200,000 was stolen.
Later, his wife divorced him, and his 17-year-old granddaughter died of drug overdose.
In an interview, he stated, “I wish I’d torn that ticket up.”
I played the lottery for only one reason. I believe in divine destiny. I bought only one ticket per drawing. You cannot buy enough tickets to make the odds of winning reasonable. If it was my destiny to win the lottery, I did not need more than one ticket.
I also bought the ticket which gives me the best expected value. Expected value is a statistical concept. It is the probability of winning times the amount of the jackpot. For example, for the Missouri lotto, the probability of winning with one ticket is one in 3.5 million. So, if the winning amount is $3.5 million, then the expected value is one dollar (1/35 x 35=1). Using this concept, the higher the jackpot, the more each ticket is worth.
For all the reasons I stated above, the lottery is not a worthwhile investment. The chance of winning is extremely low, and it is one of the highest taxed transactions in the history of humanity. However, you cannot win unless you play. This reminds me of a joke I heard:
A man devoted to God prays every night to win the lottery. He dies and meets God.
He asks God: “God, I prayed every night to win the lottery and you never let me win. Why?”
God sighed: “You should have bought a ticket.”
I prayed that if I won, God would also give me the wisdom of not being like the West Virginia man and guide me to become the giving and loving person that Jesus commands me to be.
I started receiving emails from an online Astrologer talking about how I was connected to great wealth. She wanted me to contact her. I looked at what she was offering, and it looked like she wanted to sell me a gold amulet. I doubted she was a prophet sent by God. The second commandment commands us:
You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.
I never worshiped idols and I was not going to start now.
In the last chapter of my first book, I talk about the how the Mayans believed that birth dates determined the future of everyone. I even found that the Mayan prediction for my birth date was close to some aspects of my life. However, the Mayans kill anyone born between June 11th through June 15th. More specifically, they threw them into a well and sacrificed them to the well God when they reached puberty. Astrology is also based on birth dates and the configuration of the heavens at the time of birth.
It is hard for me to believe that we can group the 7.9 billion people living on earth into 365 groups, one group for each day. To the contrary, I have two twin beautiful nieces and born on the same day. They are very much different from each other. In fact, I believe that God made us all different and an essential part of the body of humanity.
The Astrologer predicted great wealth would come to me May 18th. It was a Tuesday; I bought a Mega Millions ticket.
Surprise! Surprise! I did not win. I told you, my reader, that I am always honest with you. I researched lotteries so that I could write about winning. I envisioned employing my second cousin the commercial pilot to fly me to Ukraine and meet my Xena and fly her back to the States with me. After all was said and done, I have a different version closer to the truth.
End Of Chapter 29
Next week, I will give you “Chapter 30 – The Ring.” My new book has 32 chapters. So, if you want to receive all 32 chapters as soon as the post is created, then become a follower of this blog.
If you do not want to wait that long and you have not read my first book. I encourage you to go to my website, www.homeysadventures.com. You can read the first two chapters for free, and you can also purchase it. Or you can purchase it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other fine retailers. Just search for it using the words: Homey’s Adventures by Jim Wish.
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I liken myself to the Vienna Violinist described in chapter 5. I play (write) for your enjoyment and mine. God bless you all.