You may have noticed lottery mania has reached a bit of a peak lately what with the over $640 Million prize anticipated in the 42-state Mega Millions drawing.
Of course if you win tonight and take the cash payout on the $640 million, you'd get $462 million, according to the lottery. Or you could opt to receive annual payments of $24 million a year for 26 years (before taxes).
The Lefties will inform you of the great evils of lottery as a replacement for a more progressive tax scheme. Point out that it is mostly the unwashed, poor and working-person crowd that throws down the most support for lottery. Bah, you say, "buzzkills!". Well, perhaps......
Likewise, the Judgment and Decision experimental psychologists will blather on about how lottery playing is a sucker's game. And yes indeed it is. Because the stats don't work out as optimal in gaming the end stage of large amounts of play. Of course, people who actually know something about judgment will tell them that when the entry price is low (like a buck a ticket) and the payoff is not just the chance of a fabulous, lifechanging amount but also the pleasant fantasy part in anticipating what you would do with the money....
genomicrepairman indulged in a little bit of fantasy himself and I do admit that is a damn fine idea.
I thought about this
long and hard for about three seconds on my drive in today after scanning GR's post at a stoplight.
I conclude this.
$24 million per year for a quarter of a century....hmmmm. Ok, let's just ballpark the taxes as half and round down to $10M. That's some chazange. And I'm sure a spouse would have something to say about the prize so let's drop that to a cool $5M per year. And let's suppose some of you are out there in institutions with 100% overhead for charitable giving. That leave's you with $2.5M to pour into your laboratory's direct-cost fund each and every year!
Imagine that. No more worries about funding your lab. No need for a grant at all. Pure, endowed chair and endowed slush fund. Schweet.
All you have to do is make it to tenure and the University would have a damn hard time getting rid of you for just about anything. Even if you fail to publish for a year or two while you are working on some harebrained idea you had.
Are you telling me you would quit your position to tour the earth? Hell, if you have a half decent lab manager and a post doc or two you could still tour the earth, surfacing every couple of weeks in an obscure Internet cafe in Barbaloot to check in!
There is no way in hell I'd quit my job if I won this lotto. Take the financial headaches away and it turns from being a damn good job to the best thing to do in the entire world, if you ask me....you feel any differently?
ps. It would have to be like this.
We said we would tell no one. We would hire an attorney and anonymously collect our winnings under the cover of a trust. We would not take any publicity photos or announce our newfound wealth with conspicuous consumption. We might get a pool because we all love to swim and it’s good exercise. But generally no one would guess that my husband and I had struck it rich.
There are just too many examples of former lottery winners who end up losing their millions because they overspent and overindulged themselves.
sekrit trust, right. otherwise the postdocs wouldn't work hard enough....