What is the poor man’s tax you ask? Why, it is the lottery, powerball, or really any form of gambling whether that be at the casino or race track. Okay, so the title might be a bit misleading. Maybe it should read, “Avoiding The Mathematically Challenged Person’s Tax”. At least that appears to be the conclusion that this writer over at BadMoneyAdvice.com came to in his article.
The simple answer to the question, why am I calling it a tax, is that a “player” is going to lose money. Period.
How bad are your odds against you? Let’s consider Power Ball for a second. Each $2 ticket that you buy has a 96.9% of winning you jack. nada. zippo. Do you want a guaruantee of winning $4? Then you’d have to buy 35 tickets. +$4-$70=-$66. You can see a more detailed analysis over at Business Insider. “But that is just PowerBall”, you say. “I am a master at playing _______!”. While I could look up the odds of each form of gambling, let me make a blanket statement. If the odds were in your favor, the establishment wouldn’t be profitable and wouldn’t exist. It’s doors would shut and you’d no longer be able to use your prowess to make easy money. The fact is that the doors are open because they make money.
The best way to save money is to not play at all.
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So you’re feeling bored and want something to do. How about a nice game of chess.