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December 7, 1994
I have decided to win $365 from the California lottery: I've quit buying lottery tickets. N. DWIGHT HARMAN Redondo Beach
April 15, 2014 | By Eric Pincus
The Lakers climbed to 26 wins on Monday night, defeating the Utah Jazz, 119-104, behind a big night from Nick Young. In beating the Jazz, the Lakers lost the chance to finish the season tied with Utah at 25 wins. The Jazz (24-57) have the fourth-worst record in the NBA. A Lakers' loss could have set up a three-way tie in the NBA draft lottery standings with the Jazz and Boston Celtics (25-56) -- each having a 9% chance at the top overall pick. Instead, the Lakers have dipped down to sixth in the lottery, with a 6.3% chance at the No. 1 selection.
December 18, 2013
Re "Mega Millions draws up longer odds, fewer winners," Column, Dec. 13 Anyone considering buying a Mega Millions lottery ticket should first read David Lazarus' column. His disclosure of the infinitesimally low odds of winning - and the lower economic classes' vastly disproportionate burden of sustaining lotteries - should resonate with most readers. Several years ago I learned that within two hours an unusually large lottery would close and draw for a winner. I decided to walk to a local convenience store to buy a few tickets for a chance at becoming an instant millionaire.
April 14, 2014 | By Mike Bresnahan
SALT LAKE CITY - Poor Lakers. They lose even when they win. They hammered the similarly woeful Utah Jazz on Monday, 119-104, but damaged their lottery percentages for the draft. If the Lakers had lost, Utah would have caught them (and Boston) in the overall standings, forging a three-way tie for the NBA's fourth-worst record. BOX SCORE: Lakers 119, Jazz 104 Now the Lakers (26-55) will probably finish with the sixth-worst record and a 6.3% chance at the No. 1 pick at the May 20 lottery.
August 15, 1991
Could you persuade Assemblyman Richard E. Floyd (D-Carson) to expand on his remark (Part A, Aug. 6) concerning doubling the odds against winning the lottery jackpot? "Even people who play the lottery are not so stupid to play into that kind of doubling." That little word even might cost him a vote or two. Its use is condescending, and, in fact, a little stupid, even. FRED SCIFERS Downey
June 8, 1988
Thank you for expressing my feelings about the lottery. I, too, feel as Gamboa does about the lottery taking from those least likely to be able to afford spending their money on an unrealistic dream. If reforms can be instituted and awards made more fairly, I might change my mind. However, more revenue to needy school districts would have to be part of the reform. CLARA GOLDSTEIN Culver City
November 4, 1990
Am I the only person who views the lottery as a colossal mistake? Every time I see a television ad for the lottery or Lotto during prime time and think of the amount of money being spent to tempt people to waste their money, I am very angry. Would we permit drug dealers to advertise to addicts? The tone of the lottery ads is very seductive and lures people to throw their money away. The chances of winning are less than being hit by lightning, yet individuals who know they will never be hit by lightning truly believe they have a chance to win millions.
October 15, 1999
It is so good to hear that the people of Alabama have enough common sense to reject the lottery (Oct. 13). For a government to get into gambling is unconscionable no matter what pretty pictures they paint. Just look at the social cost of gambling that we all have to pay. Since the states are so happy to sue the tobacco industry for the damage it inflicts on people, despite warnings, maybe the states should sue the gambling industry for the ill it has brought upon the people without warning.
January 5, 1998
The California Lottery folks chose to disenfranchise many players over 40 when they voted to allow large Lotto winners to choose to have lump sum payment of about 50% of their winnings and forfeit the rest, in lieu of having it spread out over 20 years (Dec. 24). Only they also voted to spread it over 26 years! That means that someone like me, near 55, won't get all of his winnings until he's almost 81--if he lives that long! That's clearly unfair to older players, and in my case, I would be left with the choice between losing half my winnings or risking dying before I've collected the balance, nearly 25 years into the next century.
April 12, 2014 | By Eric Pincus
The 2013-14 regular season will come to a close Wednesday. With a record of 25-54, the Lakers stand in 25th place overall, which translates to sixth in the NBA's draft lottery standings. On May 20, the league will randomly select the top-three picks by lottery.  Teams that do not win are slotted four through 14, in order of worst records. Should teams finish the season with identical records, the NBA turns to coin flips to break any ties. The Lakers have three games remaining: Sunday against the playoff contending Memphis Grizzlies (47-32)
April 5, 2014 | By Ben Bolch
The NBA's regular season ends April 16, and for the bottom-dwellers the draft lottery May 20 looms large. Below are standings of the eight worst teams after Friday's games, their odds to land the No. 1 overall pick and mock draft picks from current position: TEAM/W-L/Pct./Odds/MOCK DRAFT SELECTION 1; Milwaukee/14-62/.184/25%/Jabari Parker, F, Duke 2; Philadelphia/17-59/.224/19.9%/Andrew Wiggins, F, Kansas 3; Orlando/21-55/.276/15.6%/Dante Exum,...
April 5, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
For more than a half century, few in this town have loved and lived the Lakers like Joe Smith. The former record mogul has four season seats on the baseline next to the Lakers bench. He has held those seats since the team arrived in Los Angeles. He has become as much of a fixture under the basket as the ballboys and Laker girls. No single ticket holder has endured longer, and certainly no single fan has invested more. For 54 years, Joe Smith has loved the Lakers graciously, gratefully and unconditionally.
April 3, 2014 | By Eric Pincus
The Lakers lost their 50th game of the season on Wednesday night, falling 107-102 to the Sacramento Kings (27-48). Given the Lakers (25-50) have been long eliminated from the playoffs, the worse they do in the standings, the higher their position in the May 20 NBA draft lottery. The Kings' victory on Wednesday put them two games "behind" the Lakers in the lottery standings, with Sacramento in seventh place. The Lakers play seven more games, six against teams in playoff contention.
April 2, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
A Northern Californian invoked the "luck of the Jedi" on Tuesday when he came forward to claim the $425.3-million Powerball jackpot he won after playing the lottery for 20 years. Wearing a shirt featuring the "Star Wars" character Yoda with the words “Luck of the Jedi I have," retiree B. Raymond Buxton came forward to officially claim his prize, telling officials he purposely chose April Fools' Day to turn in his ticket and take the one-time cash option. His cash option will be worth about $242.2 million before taxes.
April 1, 2014 | By Matt Stevens
A Northern California man who won a $425.3-million Powerball jackpot had been playing the lottery for two decades before he struck it big, he said Tuesday. Retiree B. Raymond Buxton came forward Tuesday to officially claim his prize, telling officials he purposely chose April Fool's Day to turn in his ticket and take the one-time cash option. He wore a shirt featuring the "Star Wars" character Yoda with the words “Luck of the Jedi I have.” His cash option will be worth about $242.2 million before taxes.
March 31, 2014 | By Eric Pincus
The Kentucky Wildcats (8th seed), Wisconsin Badgers (2nd), Florida Gators (1st) and Connecticut Huskies (7th) survived the weekend to advance to the NCAA's college basketball tournament's Final Four. Kentucky's Julius Randle is the lone top lottery prospect left in play, after Aaron Gordon and the Arizona Wildcats fell to Wisconsin on Saturday. Randle, a 19-year old, 6-foot-9 power forward, may have solidified as a top-four selection in June's NBA draft. Other prospects at the top of the draft include Kansas' Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, along with Duke's Jabari Parker.
March 31, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard
A Virginia couple has won top prizes in the state's lottery three times within a single month. Wow, what are the odds! The answer is: rotten. The odds of winning are rotten. But it's people like Calvin and Zatera Spencer, of Portsmouth, Va., who keep us playing the lottery. We know we'll never win. Then someone wins three times in a month. "I've been here for 12 years," Virginia Lottery spokesman John Hagerty told the Los Angeles Times, "and this is the first time I've seen someone win three major prizes within such a short period of time.
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