Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

TobyBartels comments on Lotteries: A Waste of Hope - Less Wrong

28 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 13 April 2007 05:36AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (68)

Sort By: Old

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: HalFinney 15 April 2007 01:03:24AM 1 point [-]

I have a personal story related to this - it's not quite the lottery but it's similar.

My sister-in-law and her husband won a million dollars on a TV game show back in the 1980s. (And then they promptly got divorced.) It turned out that the million is paid as $40,000 per year for 25 years. After the divorce she has received $20,000 per year. Ironically if she just lived off her winnings she would be barely above the poverty line, even though the show made a big deal about how she was now a "millionaire". Instead she and her (new) husband both work, and the extra $20,000 a year is a nice addition to their income. It runs out in a couple of years.

Comment author: TobyBartels 16 January 2011 02:16:55AM *  1 point [-]

Had she tried to borrow against her future guaranteed winnings? Maybe she was a millionaire! (Not if it was exactly a million of course, since the time delay must reduce the total to below the nominal amount.)