Winning the Lottery: Sour grapes

(Note: As of November 21, 2010, the lotto jackpot has reached P600M.)

November 19, 2010. By the time this comes out, the 6/55 grand lotto, with the prize ballooning to more than P520M, would have been drawn already. In all likelihood, there would be no winner yet. Every draw of this lotto version since it reached the P350M threshold adds P30M – P50M to the jackpot. Considering that every bet on a combination is worth P20, P50M translates into 2,500,000 bets every draw. If the number combinations bet upon were unique (that is, no bettors chose the same combination), the 2.5M combinations is but a small fraction of the total number of combinations in the 6/55 scheme. After all, the possible number of combinations in the scheme is


This means that less than 9% of the total combinations are bet upon. This percentage also represents the possibility that the winning combination was chosen by any of ALL the bettors. And so perhaps the jackpot still has not been taken, and the increase in the prize money is sure to drive regular bettors and other fanciful hopefuls into a betting frenzy that will further drive the jackpot to hitherto unreached heights.

But probably there would already be a winner. And it will not be me.

The winner would now have more than P500M on his hands. In all likelihood, this winner would have been previously like most of us, eking out a living on a day-to-day basis, making less than P200,000 every year. He now has at his disposal the unimaginable sum of P500M.

Even if the winner is circumspect about the boon he has received and keeps it to himself, sooner rather than later people will know about it. The number of his relatives and friends would rise exponentially, with all of them expecting a share in the bounty. The winner shall have to deal with them. Even if he shall be charitable and generous in his dole outs, there shall be many among those relatives and friends who shall be dissatisfied, or who would criticize how he dispenses with the manna. Some would feel that they should be given more, and some would feel that others should get less or nothing at all.

Other relatives and friends would freely give advice as to how the money should be used or invested, and most of these advisors would expect that they be recognized, or even allowed to manage humungous amounts.

Whatever the winner decides to do immediately upon winning and in the long run would not satisfy everybody. It is very likely that those unsatisfied would scorn the winner. It is very likely that some of them would not wish the winner well.

Even those who do not count themselves relatives or friends of the winner will be drawn to him like flies to shit. The winner and his family would automatically become the target of kidnap-for ransom groups.

The winner would have to find a place where to hide. If he chooses to hire bodyguards, those bodyguards could very well become the source of the threat. Even his close relatives and friends would be sorely tempted by the P500M, and indeed the winner would fear and suspect these relatives and friends, too. He shall live in anxiety and fear.

The family of the winner would embrace a lifestyle far different from what they are accustomed to. They might go on a world tour. They might buy a huge house, each. They might buy a car, each. They might try to taste every culinary delight and indulge in the vanities of the rich, for they are rich.

In all likelihood, they will overindulge themselves. In their indulgence, they shall see the millions being spent, and they shall realize that the amount is not so hard to spend at all.

If they choose to invest some or all of the money, it is more than likely that scam artists would be trying to draw them into preposterous ventures supposedly to increase their money. If they are drawn into such traps, they shall lose their money even faster.

They shall be asked to invest in real estate of all kinds, and considering that they are noveau rich, they would be less than cautious in their dealings. Their investments might not be all that profitable.

Even the immediate family of the winner would bicker with each other on what to do with all the money. They would disagree on a lot of things, and envy everyone else. The children would be enamored in a life of plenty, and disregard their studies, thinking that all that money could not be spent in a lifetime. It might even happen that some of them would plot against each other, seeking to increase their share of the bounty.

In the meantime, they would have distanced themselves from the community, from friends and relatives who would have remained true to them whether or not they won the lottery. They would be entirely alone in their misery.

If the kidnap for ransom groups have succeeded in identifying and abducting them, their situation might not be far worse.

Whatever the outcome of the winner of this lottery, people would be saying years from now that they might be better off not having won at all.


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