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Go Ahead and Buy a Powerball Ticket

It can be a 'rational decision,' according to 'NYT' columnist
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2016 4:13 AM CST
Go Ahead and Buy a Powerball Ticket
Purchased Powerball lottery tickets are shown Tuesday in Miami.   (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

(Newser) – The Powerball jackpot has entered the stratosphere at an estimated $1.5 billion, causing the country to come down with a serious case of lottery fever ahead of Wednesday's drawing. Some related reading on the biggest lottery jackpot in history:

  • The New York Times revisits an article from early 2015 explaining why buying lottery tickets can be a "completely rational decision" despite the ludicrously low chances of winning.
  • Being killed by a vending machine is among the things Live Science lists as more likely than winning the jackpot.

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  • At FiveThirtyEight, Walt Hickey crunches the numbers to find out the odds of there being a winner on Wednesday—though he notes that it is "very hard to develop a sanity test for this number."
  • The Detroit Free Press looks at how much tax the winner will have to cough up and talks to some of the Canadians crossing the border for tickets.
  • "Jackpot fatigue?" The Los Angeles Times takes a look at how the jackpot came to be so enormous.
  • The AP looks at the six states that have opted out of Powerball, including two where residents can't simply pop across the state line for tickets.
  • The winner will have a choice between a lump sum and an annuity, and the New York Times explains why it makes more sense to go for the latter. One reason: "No matter what stupid choices you make this year, you'll have an enormous check waiting for you next year."
(Read more Powerball stories.)

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