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Resale Prices of Lottery Tickets

December 26, 1985

Thank you Nelson Rose for bringing the whole lottery hype to its knees with simple economics.

In a society filled with microwaves, fast food and credit cards urging us to buy now, pay later, isn't it only fitting that we fall for this instant millionaire bunk?

There hasn't been a millionaire yet to emerge from the big-spin T.V. extravaganza. At best, a $2-million winner comes away with $80,000 after taxes, and most of them have already figured out how they're going to spend it before they even leave the television studio. So life returns to normal after the first check is gone. But then, ah heck, why not go out and run up the credit cards; another check will be here in eight months. And so the legend of the Big Wheel continues. One only begins to wonder what the suicide rate will be for the two-mil winners when in twenty years their millionaire status doesn't jive with their investment portfolio.

We still need to look at the cold, hard facts. First, gamblers are not prone to being good investors, and last, but not least, nasty old inflation will, in 20 years, have chewed that check up so bad that the I.M. (instant millionaire) won't be able to find it in the envelope.

So congratulations to Frank Cascarelli for selling his $100 lottery ticket, really worth $290.40 for $3500. He's a wise man. Wise enough to probably really know how to invest his first $80,000 check, but wiser still to opt for the cash rather than be caught in his wife's ruby-red slippers clicking his heels three times.

LEA ANN FISCHER

Laguna Beach

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