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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Car-Garage Convergence

I did not live in a dwelling with a garage until I was 38. Even though I was renting the house, I felt like I had “made it.”

Fast forward a few years…the house in which my wonderful wife and I lived for most of our time in Texas had a 3-car garage, but we “only” had two cars. After we moved to the mid-Atlantic, we lived in a house with a 2-car garage, but we had three vehicles.

Fast forward to now…



Our 2015 Cadillac ATS was delivered yesterday. (Many thanks, Austin.) I did not want to take a picture from the rear and show our license plates. Can’t be too careful these days…

While the garage is smaller than a 3-car should be, after removal of lots of “stuff” we are able to park three cars in it. We have a 3-car garage with three cars, as it should be. Yes, we took the ATS to the grocery store yesterday and it easily handled our purchases.

I actually drove it for the first time and it was impressive. The car is comfortable, chock full of features like lane departure warning and is surprisingly nimble. Here is a better picture of the Z06 and the ATS:



Wish us luck with our new vehicle. Hey, just wish us luck and I will do the same for you.


The nearly $1 billion Mega Millions annuity jackpot could be won this evening. At our age, my wonderful wife and I would take the cash, which is about $720 million. Even assuming paying about 50% in taxes, that would leave a sole winner with $360 million, free and clear.

Arizona is, unfortunately, not a state in which a lottery winner can remain anonymous, unlike the state we left. The conventional wisdom is if one should find themselves in this position, tell as few people as possible and set up some legal entity that does not bear the name of the winner(s) to claim the prize.

This should surprise no one, but I have already set up a spreadsheet with the numbers 0-9 and the letters a-z each assigned a random number. If the miracle happens, I will recalculate the random numbers thousands of times and then sort by that number. The six or eight characters that appear at the top will be the name of our trust to claim the prize.

Like I wrote yesterday, we have no debt, a good net worth and are not spending money we can’t afford to buy lottery tickets. The ticket displayed yesterday cost $6. Spending $6 to have a chance to win $360 million, no matter how small that chance, seems reasonable to us. As I have said to my wonderful wife hundreds of times, “Wouldn’t that be something?”








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