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Friday, August 21, 2009

Money Jars...And Curses...

I have been at the same company for almost eight years now.
Over that period of time I have seen lots of "money jars".

There is the ever popular swear jar.










And the happy hour fund.










A variation on the swear jar...










My team and I; We have "The Retirement Fund".

This is the jar that we all throw spare change into on a fairly regular basis.

It is not for any of the reasons listed above. It is used for whenever the lottery gets really big. Such as now....

Over $200 Million.

What is funny is, sometimes the jar gets full before a really huge jackpot. And folks think that turning in the jar for the basic $12 million starting jackpot is , somehow , not really worth it.

Huh? Come on guys. OK, so $12 million divided by 8 is 1.5 million for each of us!

Maybe, not quite enough to retire comfortably on... Maybe...

After all its only like someone coming up to you on the street and handing you a check for $900,000 tax free.

As Jeff Foxworthy would say... "that sure would put a dent in the ol' Pinto payments".

So, now it is my turn to collect the jar and turn in the coins for lottery tickets.
Instead of going to the local 7-11 counter and having the poor lady behind the register count out all those coins, I go to the Coinstar machine and get the cash. Sure it costs 8% fee, but I throw in an extra dollar to help cover that cost.

After this fun and amazing stop at coinstar, I make my way over to the previously mentioned 7-11 and wait in line to get my tickets.

After all this just happens to be lunch hour and there are lots of folks buying 7-11 hot dogs, Nachos, beer, and soda...

Hmmm, this get me to thinking two things...

A) Maybe it is not the Health Care System we should be looking to reform...
B) I notice the other VA lottery game called Win for Life!

Now, I know this game from the commercials. If you win the jackpot, you get $1000 a week for Life!

Pretty cool. So while I was waiting for the guys to finish buying out the 7-11 supply of dogs, chips, and beverages for their crews, I got into reading the particulars of the Win for Life Lottery.

The fine print says the grand prize is $1,000 a week for 10 years.
What?

Do they know something I don't?

Is this a cruel curse? Like Congratulations! you win the jackpot! And don't worry about the only 10 years to live stuff...

I know, maybe the game started in 2002 and it is a funny ploy on the 2012 end of the world scenario...

Nope, it started in 2006 (I looked it up later on the internet)

Then I noticed that, like other big jackpot drawings, they have a one time cash out option. You can get $1,000 a week for 10 years or you can get a one time $520,000 payment.

Normally I would choose the one time pay out option because the same amount of money now is worth a lot more (hopefully) than the same amount 10 or 20 years from now.

But with the "for life" option thrown into this seemingly innocent lottery game, I find the whole thing rather uncomfortable...

So this means that one can earn an extra $1,000 a week and you get 10 years to live.
or
$520,000 to throw one hell of a party before tomorrow.

I think I will stick with the standard Mega Millions Drawing...

10 tickets please...

Thank you.

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