November Powerball

“Wouldn’t that be something?!” That’s what I have said countless times to my wonderful wife when thinking about winning a large lottery jackpot like the current one for Powerball. As I write this, fewer than 39 hours to the next drawing, the annuity value is estimated at $1.2 billion while the cash value, what most winners opt for, is estimated at about $597 million.

As best as I can estimate, as Arizona residents we would net about $340 million after taxes if we had the only winning ticket and took the cash option. As I have written many times before, I think virtually no one really knows what they would do in what I call an out-of-context situation like winning a nine-figure sum in a lottery. I can tell you, though, that would change the parameters of our current half-hearted search for a new house.

Yesterday at the supermarket where we usually buy lottery tickets, we opted for using the machine instead of buying from the person working the customer service desk because that line was quite long and it was not because people were returning groceries. It is true that demand for lottery tickets reaches a parabolic inflection point when the jackpot reaches a certain level. We are beyond that level for sure.

Once again, I do not expect to win the lottery. However, if I don’t play then my chances of winning are zero. If I do play my chances asymptotically approach zero. Wouldn’t that be something?!


I have begun the process of extricating myself from Capital One. This morning I initiated a transfer of all of the funds from all of my savings accounts there to another bank as well as creating a link between the recipient bank and my brokerage accounts. While the amount is not life-changing (~$50k), I felt exhilarated. As Abraham Lincoln is supposed to have said, if someone fools you once shame on them. If they fool you again, shame on you.

While I doubt I will receive any communication from Capital One about the transfer, I am hoping someone from the bank does reach out to me. I will give them a piece of my mind (no, I’m not sure I can spare it) and let them know in no uncertain terms that their behavior was unconscionable.

It is a sad state of affairs that most US companies feel no need to treat their customers with respect. Changing vendors is the only recourse we have, but at least we can do that.


Back to Powerball…yes, in dreaming about winning I looked at real estate listings without setting a limit for maximum price. Disappointingly–no, I do not expect to win–most of the houses with garage space for 5 or more cars in our preferred zip code have not actually been built. Repeating myself once more, my wonderful wife and I would not wait 18 months or longer for a new house no matter how much money we won.

This house, built in 2006, sold last September for $5.6 million. Why am I mentioning that? The original listing indicated that the house had garage space for 100 cars. Here are three photos from that listing.


House view featured at 11350 E Arabian Park Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85259

Road view featured at 11350 E Arabian Park Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85259

Property featured at 11350 E Arabian Park Dr, Scottsdale, AZ 85259


Believe it or not, I don’t think I would want space for 100 cars. Ten or fifteen would be nice, though. Wouldn’t that be something?!






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5 thoughts on “November Powerball

  1. “Believe it or not, I don’t think I would want space for 100 cars.”

    IF, and that’s a BIG if, I were to win the powerball, I would go for the 100 car garage. Then I would set about filling it with the cars I always wondered what it would be like to own. There would also be enough money to hire someone to maintain those vehicles for me, while I drove the dog squeeze out of them. 🙂

    Like you, I have zero expectation of winning. Perhaps it would be a nightmare, but nightmares are also dreams. I know for certain I would chose to remain anonymous, which is an option in my state. There would be enough headaches with relatives I haven’t had contact with in 50 years, coming out of the woodwork looking for a handout.


    1. Thanks, DDM. I really think the utility in buying a lottery ticket is that it allows you to dream about what you would do if you won. If you don’t play then you can’t really have those dreams.

      Arizona recently added the option for remaining anonymous. I guess my random name spreadsheet will not be needed. 🙂


      1. I will spend the equivalent of the price of a breakfast sammich on lottery tickets, so 2 tickets. I’m not much on gambling, been in casino’s 5 times in my life. Each time I set my gambling limit at $100. When it was gone, so was I. One time I left with more than I entered with, so I’m close to breaking even. Beyond those 5 occasions, and the occasional lottery ticket, I do no other gambling. I learned early on the odds are NEVER in your favor and I could always come up with other, more enjoyable, ways to spend my money.

        Nothing against those who do gamble for enjoyment, it’s just not for me.


  2. “As Abraham Lincoln is supposed to have said, if someone fools you once shame on them. If they fool you again, shame on you.” Or in the words of George “CSI” Bush, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, well you won’t be fooled again…”


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