california-lottery

CA lottery using an ad like nothing you’ve seen before

Most lottery advertising focuses on what you do if you won the big money. Quit your job. Buy a yacht. Go on vacation for life.

But the California lottery is doing something totally different. Led by David & Goliath, an indie L.A. ad agency, it instead chose the mini-documentary route to back up the brand’s ongoing tagline, “Believe in something bigger.”

“Every lotto brand talks about riches and private islands and material wealth,” said David Angelo, the agency’s founder and chairman. “We’re saying that the California Lottery stands for more than jackpots.”

The CA Lottery agency chose as subjects six people who have used their own ingenuity and dedication to pursue their dreams, including a woman who established an equestrian club for kids in inner-city Compton or an Orange County restaurant owner who donates 1,000 meals a day to hungry children.

These are bootstrap folks – “everyday heroes,” as the agency calls them — who make a difference without piles of money. Think of the potential impact, the campaign implies, if purpose-driven people are lucky enough to quick-pick some winning lotto numbers.

“It’s hard to believe in winning the lotto,” Angelo said. “We think we’ve found a very human way to link to the idea that anything is possible.”

Check out the videos here: California lottery campaign

What would you do if you won the jackpot? Tell us below in the comment section.

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Why you keep playing the lottery

Why we play the lottery

Six numbers have the power to change your life.

Maybe your child is ill and there are hospital bills to pay. Maybe you’ve lost your job and you’re worried about making rent. Maybe you still have a job, but you’re miserable, and you’d really like to spend the next 50 years lying on a beach with a mai tai in hand.

Whatever your situation, the question remains: why do we play the lottery?

And to be clear, a great many of us do. In fact, more than 50% of the U.S. population play the lottery in a typical year.

“People love to have a rescue fantasy,” human behavior expert Dr. Wendy Walsh told CNN. “We have the Cinderella complex – there’s a fairy godmother who’s going to come in and save us.”

We’ve all heard the statistics. Your chances of winning a major lottery jackpot are about one in 175 million. You’re more likely to die from a bee sting (one in 6.1 million), be struck by lightning (one in 3 million) or have conjoined twins (one in 200,000).

But people keep playing – most likely because the thought of winning $500 million is much more fun than the thought of being attacked by a shark (one in 11.5 million).

“It doesn’t faze them because they’re in love with hope,” Walsh said.

Part of the allure is that everyone else is doing it, said Dr. Stephen Goldbart, author of “Affluence Intelligence” and co-director of the Money, Meaning & Choices Institute.

In a Psychology Today article titled “Lottery-itis!” Goldbart noted two main reasons why people spend money to play lotteries:

“Jumping on the bandwagon is an age-old motivator of psychological behavior,” wrote Goldbart and his colleague, Joan DiFuria. “We want to be with the in-crowd, to be ‘part of the movement,’ not ‘feel left out.’ ”

The second reason stems from a sense of disempowerment that comes with change – whether it’s a changing economy or a changing world.

“The map to finding the American Dream has been radically altered,” they wrote. “(The lottery) lets you believe in magic: that you will be the one who spent a little and got a lot; that you will defy the extraordinary odds against winning.”

Spend a little, get a lot – the basis for every good investment. The low cost of a lottery ticket is one of the most seductive things about it.

One study, published in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, theorized that people focus on the cost-to-benefit ratio of a single ticket rather than add up the long-term cost of playing over a year, or a lifetime.

Still, to say that playing the lottery is a bad idea doesn’t sit well with the professor of economics and psychology.

“It’s ridiculous to say that 51% of the population is just irrational or self-destructive,” he said. “It serves a psychological function for people. … Our pleasure of living is not only based on our current situation, but what could be, what we can imagine our situation could become.”

Irrational or not, millions will sit around their TV and computer screens, praying that their lucky six numbers will appear.

They’re optimistic that the fairy-tale ending they’ve been waiting for will come, even if it takes a little magic.

Of course, playing the lottery doesn’t have to cost you money. You can play at FreeLotto for free:


What Would You Do if You Won the Lottery?

Why we play lotteries. And why it’s a good idea if done right.

Do you ever dream about winning the lottery?

Sure you’ll find people who think that buying lottery tickets is among the silliest decisions a person could make. And it is true that the odds of winning anything substantial are very much stacked against you.

There is no doubt that people should not spend money on lottery tickets that they can’t afford to lose. If you have a gambling problem, or are financially destitute, it is a terrible idea. And for anyone to stake his or her financial future on lottery tickets is beyond foolish.

But – and this is the important part – there are a couple of dimensions that these tut-tutted warnings miss, perhaps fueled by a class divide between those who commonly buy lottery tickets and those who choose to throw away money on other things like expensive wine or mansions.

As long as one thinks about the purchase of lottery tickets the right way — again, purely a consumption good, not an investment — it can be a completely rational decision. The biggest and most generally applicable reason buying lottery tickets is a non-terrible idea is this: It is fun to imagine one’s future after arriving at vast wealth.

Who doesn’t daydream about what sorts of houses and cars and airplanes one would buy with the half-billion-dollar Powerball grand prize? (It’s more like around $340 million in cash value terms; the larger number is if the prize is taken as an annual payment.)

Fantasizing about what you would do if you suddenly encountered great wealth is fun, and it is more fun if there is some chance, however minuscule, that it could happen. The $2 price for a ticket is a relatively small one to pay for the enjoyment of thinking through how you might organize your life differently if you had all those millions.


Here’s what to do if you win the lottery

What to do if you win the lottery

If you should ever be so lucky as to win a major prize in a lottery, there are some things you need to know about:

1) Read the rules on the ticket and on the lottery’s website. Sign your name on the back of the ticket, unless the rules forbid it. Then make a copy of it and put it in a safe deposit box. Don’t feel compelled to tell the world just yet. Try to refrain from telling anyone beyond your immediate family. You can take your time before contacting the lottery authorities, but be aware that ticket expiration periods vary from state to state, from 90 days to one year. The back of your ticket will likely detail the expiration period for your state.

2) Assemble your team. You need to interview estate attorneys, accountants and financial advisers. An important caveat: Don’t hire only one money manager. You can assemble anywhere from three to six with different areas of expertise.

3) Determine whether you will accept the payout as a lump sum or in installments. At this point, the lump sum for the $500 million prize is $327 million before federal taxes are applied and $245.2 million after-tax. Conversely, you could choose to receive annual payments over 29 years, which would amount to $16.6 million a year pre-tax and $12.5 million after taxes. This does not include state or city taxes, which would further reduce your take. You have 60 days, after you claim your ticket, to make the decision.

You mostly hear about winners taking the lump sum, because they want to control the entire amount of money. This year, there could be a tax edge in taking the lump sum, since odds are good that taxes will rise next year.

The big problem with a lump sum is that winners often end up blowing the entire amount doing dumb things. Don McNay, author of the book “Son of a Son of a Gambler: Winners, Losers and What to Do When You Win the Lottery,” says nine out of 10 winners go through their money in five years or less. “It’s too much, too fast,” he says. “Nobody is around them putting the brakes on the situation.”

The stream of income ensures that you won’t blow through your entire jackpot. That said, there’s a major caveat to going this route — if you die before collecting the entire amount, the remainder of your winnings may or may not pass to your heirs. This depends on the rules of the individual lottery and the state where you win.

4) Determine the legal structure of your investment holdings. Your attorney will help determine whether you should utilize trusts, limited liability companies or even corporations. Depending on your state of domicile, each may have advantages and disadvantages in terms of taxation, as well as privacy.

That said, it’s fine to splurge a little. The key is to not go crazy — initially, keep it under $100,000. That means don’t buy a new house or a Ferrari for a while, but do take your family on a fabulous vacation. And when you return, remember that you have a new job: Responsibly managing your money.

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In the Nick of Time

For the past seven months the Euromillions prize of £51,232.90 has been left unclaimed, that is, until James Wilson checked his wallet. For some reason, James Wilson decided to clean out his wallet and on this fateful day, it turned out to be a great idea.

The newlywed from Bradley Stoke, South Gloucestershire found the old lottery ticket in his wallet and after checking the numbers, realized he had won the jackpot. Upon further examination, he also realized the ticket was due to expire the next day.

James Wilson frantically called the lottery office in Camelot, but the office was closed for the night. He finally got in touch with someone the next morning and they confirmed he could still claim the prize.

Wilson and his wife plan on using the money to move out of his parents house and into a place of their own. James also wants to purchase a new car for his wife and return to his hobby of bike racing.

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Mega Millions Jackpot Up To $400 Million

Filling out a Lottery ticketThe Mega Millions Lottery has rolled over 20 times in the last 10 weeks driving the jackpot amount up to $400 million, the second largest jackpot amount in the lottery’s history. If you haven’t yet purchased your tickets, don’t worry, you still have a little time. The next Mega Millions drawing will take place Friday, December 13th at 11 pm EST.

The last Mega Millions numbers drawn on December 10th were 5- 12-22-41-65 and the mega ball was 13. Five lucky players matched five of six numbers and won $1,000,000 each but no one hit all six numbers.

If someone matches all six numbers on Friday night, they will have the choice of taking the $400 million jackpot as a 30 year annuity or taking the cash option of approximately $216.4 million before taxes.

Mega Millions Lottery tickets are sold in 45 jurisdictions and the odds of winning this mega lottery jackpot are one in 259 million.

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First Class to Thailand

long boat and poda island in ThailandBrian McTigue, a retired school caretaker from West Derby, England, was checking his weekly lottery tickets when he was distracted by the doorbell. He had only checked one of his three tickets, a £25 winner. McTigue answered the door and chatted with a builder who had come by to give him a quote on some work he was planning on his home. Forgetting about his lottery tickets, McTigue went to the kitchen to make dinner after his meeting. It wasn’t until after eating his dinner that he got back to checking his tickets. One of his remaining tickets was a big winner worth £2,850,984.

McTigue plans to use the money to pay for the extension he had been planning on his home. He also plans to celebrate by taking a first class vacation to Thailand.

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New Lease on Life

dollar different tenor soft moneys fall with skyFive months ago, Belinda Garner, was told she had six months left to live. The West Tennessee native has lived a hard life, overcoming homelessness and drug addiction. Though she was able to change her life, some of the damage from drug abuse was permanent and Garner developed cirrhosis of the liver.

Garner never lost hope despite the diagnosis. In November, she purchased a $25 scratch off ticket and won a jackpot prize of $5 million. “I thought maybe one day…You know you always wish,” said Belinda Garner of her win.

Garner’s family hopes that this prize money, $2.6 million after taxes, will help her get a liver transplant that could extend her life.

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Nostalgia Prompts Winning Ticket Purchase

Black pearlJoanne Zarella-Densman was looking over the scratch ticket display at her local convenience store in Brockton, Massachusetts when she spotted a $5 ticket called Black Pearls. The ticket reminded her of a family vacation she took as a child. On that trip, her father had given Joanne and each of her siblings an oyster. Joanne’s was the only one that contained a black pearl.

The memory prompted her to buy the ticket and lucky for her it was worth $1 million. Joanne elected to take a one time lump sum payment of $430,000 after taxes.

Joanne was the ninth jackpot prize winner of the Black Pearl game and one jackpot prize remains to be won.

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Yukon Lotto Pool Wins Lotto Max

iStock_000005875066_ExtraSmallA group of eight co-workers from the Faro Mine Remediation Project won half of a $50 million jackpot in November. The group includes Glenda Benoit, Jovita Murphy, Shelley Shaw, Krista Pickett, Ron Meers, Craig McKinnon, Tracey Parkin and Sukie Sidhu. Each will receive a share of approximately $3.12 million. The Faro group’s win is the largest lottery prize ever won on a ticket purchased in Yukon.

Some of the group plans to keep their jobs but Craig McKinnon plans to retire. “I want to golf ‘til I die,” he told the Western Canada Lottery Corporation.

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Community Recreation Center Funded by Lottery Winner

HiResThe W. Randy Smith Recreation Center, a brand new $2.1 million recreation center, bears the name of the lottery winner who provided the majority of the funding for the project. Smith won a $79 million Powerball jackpot in 2010. After taxes, the cash option netted him about $30 million.

The facility is located on the Musselman High School campus in Inwood, West Virginia. The land for the project was donated by the county school board. The indoor community center will serve one of the state’s largest high schools and contains two full size basketball courts. Smith, a former County Sherriff and magistrate, said “it’s a first-class facility” and something he is proud of.

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Unbelievable Surprise for New Zealand Man

mancahsAn unexpected knock at the door turned out to be incredible news for one New Zealand man. Lottery officials had taken matters into their own hands using security footage to identify the winner of a $22.6 million prize after it had gone unclaimed for more than three weeks.

Even after hearing that he was likely the winner, the officials had to convince him that it was not a hoax and that he should show them the winning ticket so they could verify it. The lucky winner was completely taken off guard and couldn’t grasp that he had actually won. Though he regularly plays the lottery and has won small prizes in the past, he just didn’t believe he would ever win a prize that big.

The winner, who is married with children, has vowed that the large sum of money won’t change him too much. He would like to take a family vacation and build his dream house somewhere in Christchurch, near where he lives now.

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Doughnut Baker Wins £2 Million

iStock_000018619955XSmallJean Swatman, 62, recently won a £2 Million lottery jackpot. Her family was thrilled about the win and decided to do their grandmother a favor by throwing away her work shoes. Little did they know, Swatman plans to keep her job in the supermarket bakery where she makes doughnuts four days a week starting at 5:30 am. She says she enjoys working and that the early hours don’t bother her at all.

Since claiming her prize money, Swatman has paid off the mortgage on her home in Suffolk, England, taken a trip to Cambodia, purchased a new car, and remodeled the kitchen. She plans to invest the rest for her five grandchildren.

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Well-Known Lawyer Wins Lotto 649

judge hand with gavelSaskatoon lawyer, Donald Worme, most famous for representing the Stonechild family in the Neil Stonechild inquiry in 2003, recently won $15 million on Lotto 649. Worme had initially tried to purchase a Lotto Max ticket but had missed the deadline. The clerk suggested he buy a Lotto 649 ticket instead.

Worme took more than six weeks to come forward with the winning ticket and doesn’t know yet what he will do with the money. He told lottery officials, “I’ve purchased things that I desired so I have the items I wanted.” He also said that he doesn’t think retirement is for him, so he will continue his law practice.

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$1,000,000.00 Scratch Prize

iStock_000001663844XSmallShelia Davis, 53, was driving home with her husband and their three children in the car when she felt like buying a scratch off ticket. The family stopped at a convenience store in Newnan, Georgia and Sheila picked up a $1,000,000.00 Gold Rush Georgia Lottery ticket.

When she scratched the ticket and saw that she had won the top prize Sheila started crying and her husband did too. Sheila, who works for the non-profit Habitat for Humanity, said this jackpot win will allow her to take care of her family. They are going to celebrate by “doing something they’ve never done before.”

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