Posted by: Mark Gimein on November 28, 2011 at 3:36 PM
Three hedge fund managers—“Greenwich residents” as the Associated Press helpfully explained—claimed a $254 million Powerball jackpot. According to the AP, the $254 million comes out to $104 million after taxes, and is the 12th biggest in Powerball history.
All this makes one wonder (a) What these folks are doing playing the lottery, (b) if the expected payout on Powerball is better than even and (c) just what kind of accounting the lottery uses that makes $254 million turn into $104 million, and if it may have shared Madoff’s accounting firm. “It feels good,” Greg Skidmore, one of the winners, told the AP—maybe the most boring quote uttered by anyone who has just won $34-plus million in the lottery. That’s $34-plus million if the winners shared the proceeds equally, maybe a dangerous assumption in hedge fund world.
Props to Fortune’s Dan Primack, the first to tweet a photo of the winners, who work at Belpointe LLC.
Wait! We don’t have to wonder about (b). The more mathematically inclined have already calculated the Powerball odds, and the chance of hitting the jackpot is, according to Durango Bill’s Applied Mathematics, 1 in 195,249,054. Which means that, no, it doesn’t pay off to buy a ticket for each number, even if you add in the smaller prizes.
Photograph: @danprimack via Twitter