Evening Reads: Jackpots and CrackpotsPosted: November 27, 2012
This is a quick post…and from the title you can probably guess what two items I will be highlighting this evening.
The top prize for Wednesday’s Powerball drawing has reached an estimated $500 million, a $75 million increase in the pot, lottery officials said.
That increase is a result of an uptick in ticket sales that lottery officials said tend to pick up before record drawings as people seek to win big.
Now, with a record $500 million Powerball jackpot up for grabs on Wednesday, we figured it was a great time to, once again, dash your dreams. We know, we know — someone will win at least a share of the prize, if not Wednesday, then in some subsequent drawing. But it won’t be you.
The chance of a ticket winning a Powerball jackpot is 1 in 175,223,510 (slightly better than the chance of winning a Mega Millions jackpot, which is 1 in 175,711,536). Here are a few unlikely scenarios that, we’re sorry to say, are much more likely than you taking home this jackpot.
From the Harvard School of Public Health:
— Dying from a bee sting: 1 in 6.1 million.
— Dying from being struck by lightning: 1 in 3 million.
From U.S. Hole in One, which insures golf prizes for holes in one:
— An amateur golfer making a hole in one on a par-3 hole: 1 in 12,500.
— A golfer hitting a hole in one on consecutive par-3 holes: 1 in about 156 million.
From a 2011 State Farm study on collisions between vehicles and deer:
— Hitting a deer with a vehicle in Hawaii, the state where State Farm says deer-vehicle collisions are least likely: 1 in 6,267.
From the National Weather Service:
— Being struck by lightning over an 80-year lifetime: 1 in 10,000.
From the Florida Museum of Natural History, based on U.S. beach injury statistics:
— Drowning and other beach-related fatalities: 1 in 2 million.
— Being attacked by a shark: 1 in 11.5 million.
And now for the crackpot…Rand Paul warns of GOP becoming dinosaur, cites robotic squirrels
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who’s known for his libertarian leanings, cautioned Tuesday that the Republican Party could meet the same fate as animals that went extinct millions of years ago. “I think my party, the Republican Party, is shrinking. We’re in danger of becoming a dinosaur,” he said on CNN’s “Newsroom.” “We’re not competitive on the West Coast, we’re not competitive in New England.”
“What I’ve said is that I won’t deny I’m interested–a little bit different than ‘I am interested,'” Paul said, pointing to a need for reform in the party.
Paul also weighed in on the fiscal cliff–a series of tax hikes and spending cuts to kick in next year if Congress fails to reach a deficit-reduction deal. Focusing on the negotiations to find an agreement and avert the crisis, Paul said entitlement reform–one of the options on the table in debt talks–should happen on its own and not be part of a deal that also includes raising taxes.
“The way I look at it is entitlements are broken, and it’s not my fault, it’s not Democrats’ fault, it’s because your grandparents had too many babies. It’s because we’re living longer. These are just facts,” he said. “Taxing anyone in a weak economy is not good.”
The Kentucky senator also said he’d be one of the few conservatives willing to compromise on military cuts but remained firm against raising taxes. To make his case, Paul cited examples of what he considers wasteful spending and argued an increase in tax rates would be futile while the government spends “$300,000 a year on robotic squirrels” and $2 million “on how we can convince Chinese prostitutes not to drink so much on the job.”
And that is one funny thing, one nut talking about robotic squirrels…This is an open thread.