When Lottery Winners
by Mad Dog
The emerging field of Lottery Eugenics is becoming increasingly popular.
Simply put, anyone who is too stupid to enjoy their winnings shouldn’t
be allowed to have it.
||A recent Gallup poll found
that 55 percent of Americans would continue in their jobs if they won
$10 million in the lottery. Of that number, two-thirds would keep their
same job. And you always wondered who the idiots are who plan to vote
for that other presidential candidate.
It’s a shame to waste such a
windfall on people like that. It’s also a shame to waste it on those
who go out and buy four matching SUVs, his and her double-wide trailers,
and a huge cabin cruiser to permanently decorate their driveway in
land-locked Nebraska, only to wake up a year later and discover that
they’re broke and never got around to splurging on that trip through
the surrounding counties they’d been dreaming about all their lives.
It’s just not fair. While I know
there’s no justice in life — proven by the fact that Da Ali G
Show isn’t airing at all this month yet Survivor is on
every week, not to mention that they’re not even showing the episode I
want to see, the one where no one survives — it still seems patently
unfair that people who don’t know what to do with their lottery
winnings continue to win. That’s why the emerging field of Lottery
Eugenics is becoming increasingly popular. Simply put, anyone who is too
stupid to enjoy their winnings shouldn’t be allowed to have it.
The test will consist of one question: Are you going to work tomorrow?
If the answer is yes, then they don’t get the money. If they say no,
there’s a follow-up question.
This would be easy to ascertain. If someone shows up with a
jackpot-winning ticket they’d be required to take an IQ test before
being handed the large oversized check by the lottery commissioner.
Anyone who doesn’t pass the test doesn’t collect their winnings.
Anyone who tries to fold the mammoth check into a small wad and stick it
in their wallet doesn’t get their winnings. Anyone whose first words
are, “I can’t wait until I go to work tomorrow and tell everyone at
the plant that I won $70 million” doesn’t get their winnings. It’s
simple — if you’re not smart enough to use the money reasonably you
don’t deserve it.
The test will consist of one
question: Are you going to work tomorrow? If the answer is yes, then
they don’t get the money. If they say no, there’s a follow-up
question: Are you going to blow all the money on something stupid like a
four-bedroom, 2½-bath doghouse, a closet full of Paris Hilton wardrobe
replicas in size 12, or your daughter’s wedding? While this last one
may seem silly, recently an Indian steel tycoon forked out $60 million
for his daughter’s wedding. For six days, 1,500 guests partied their
little hearts out in France, being forced to have fun in crummy places
like Versailles, the Tuilleries, and a custom-built castle erected
outside Paris. That comes to $40,000 per guest. There was no report
about whether they were allowed to stay home and take a cash option. I
know which I would have chosen. While he didn’t need to win the
lottery to blow all that cash, it’s scary to think that someone might.
We can’t take chances.
it’s true I’m a little biased and bitter because I’ve never
matched more than two numbers on a lottery ticket in my life. In fact, I
usually beat the odds by not matching a single number out of two sets.
My brother once explained that the odds of doing this aren’t as
astronomical as I think they are, but just as I did when my mother
explained why I shouldn’t run with scissors, why my eyes would stick
if I kept crossing them, and how babies are created, I smiled, tuned him
out, and thanked him for the explanation. Then did what I wanted to do.
commissioned by British Gas (motto: “It’s the fish and chips,
stupid”) recently came up with a mathematical formula which they say
proves Murphy's Law actually does strike at the worst possible time.
That’s because I firmly believe the lottery is controlled by
Murphy’s Law, which states that if anything can go wrong it will. My
not winning is wrong. People who win and go to work the next day is
wrong. My forgetting to buy a ticket just to find out the winning one
was sold at the place I would have gone to buy it is very wrong.
Obviously more can go wrong for more people than can go right when it
comes to the lottery. Maybe they should just change the name to The
Now before you say Murphy’s Law is
just a bunch of hooey, you should know there’s mathematical proof that
it really exists. Experts commissioned by British Gas (motto: “It’s
the fish and chips, stupid”) recently came up with a mathematical
formula which they say proves Murphy's Law actually does strike at the
worst possible time. Not being good at math, I have to take their word
for it. Their equation takes into consideration a task’s urgency,
complexity, importance, frequency, your skill level, and the potential
aggravation, then evaluates the chances of something going wrong. This
can be useful because if you change some of the factors you can change
the odds of it screwing up. According to project psychologist Dr. David
Lewis, "If you haven't got the skill to do something important,
leave it alone. If something is urgent or complex, find a simple way to
do it. If something going wrong will particularly aggravate you, make
certain you know how to do it."
The problem is that the formula,
((U+C+I) x (10-S))/20 x A x 1/(1-sin(F/10)), is too complex to do in
your head. Or on paper if you’re like me. What we need is a Murphy’s
Law calculator so we can punch in a few numbers and immediately see the
chances of something going wrong. Of course thanks to Murphy’s Law the
batteries would run out just when you need it the most. You know, like
when you’re trying to figure out whether driving across town to buy
one more lottery ticket will give you the money you need to quit that
boring job. You would quit that job if you won, wouldn’t you?
©2004 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country.
Read them before you read the lottery results.