Story As It Appeared in the Newport News Daily Press ... A Virginia Newspaper ...

Story As It Appeared in the
Newport News - Virginia


Posted: Friday, June 11, 2004
Revised: 10/27/06 Added link to Students Web Site

Professor Gerald Busald's Students Give
Current "True Value" Of Lottery Games

A new, very informative web site - compliments of San
Antonio College students. Very Interesting. Click here.
(October 27, 2006)

Read the cute Mega-Q story that ran in the Houston Chronicle, click here.

Many THANKS to Professor Gerald Busald
For Teaching Our Kids Reality

Mathematician figures Virginia has half a brain for lotteries

A Texas professor's "Mega-Q" rates the "lotto intelligence" of states in the Mega Millions.

Newport News Daily Press, Virginia

June 11, 2004

To guarantee a winning ticket in the Mega Millions lottery, you would need to buy one ticket a second - around the clock - for four years and three months. That's assuming you had $135 million to blow.

Even with such slim chances, Virginians' per-capita spending on the game was $9.59 from Dec. 1 through June 1. Not everyone plays the lottery, and those younger than 18 are ineligible, so average spending among lottery-playing adults is actually higher.

To math professor Gerald Busald of San Antonio College, a two-year institution in San Antonio, such frivolous spending doesn't make sense.

Busald and his students recently released a study ranking the "lotto intelligence" of Mega Millions states' residents. They call the ranking the "Mega-Q," which correlates intelligence with how much residents spend on the lottery.

The Mega-Q assumes that residents of low-lottery-spending states have figured out that 1-in-135 million odds aren't very good and assigns a score, Busald said. The less per-capita lottery spending in a state, the higher the Mega-Q score.

In per-capita Mega Millions spending, Virginia is dead center on the list of 11 states that participate in the game. New Jersey residents have the lowest score because they spend the most.

A smarter bet would be placing the money in an interest-bearing account, said Gary Bonnewell, certified financial planner and vice president of investments at Legg Mason Wood Walker Inc. in Newport News.

Some funds allow investors to invest a minimum of $25 a month, he said, which is about twice the $156 per capita spent on all lottery games in Virginia last year.

But remember: Lottery-playing adults actually spent much more.

The same amount invested in a mutual fund earning 10 percent interest, on average, would be worth $9,682 in 20 years.

An investor who 20 years ago started putting $150 a year in Legg Mason's Value Trust fund would have averaged 14 percent a year in gains, Bonnewell said, ending up with $18,339.

"It's amazing what a little bit of money can do over a period of time," he said.

What about the argument that you can't win if you don't play - that it's worth a buck to dream about what you would do with tonight's jackpot, which is estimated at $85 million?

Busald, a longtime lottery critic, admits it's fun to dream about what could be accomplished with millions and millions of dollars.

He sometimes even buys a ticket so he can have that right.

But if the chance of winning is the same as picking the correct piece of paper from a stack that's 8.5 miles high, he said, no one should spend more than an occasional $1 to try to win.

"You can have the same dream for $1 as you can for $5 or $10," he said.

"I'm concerned about overspending and going crazy on these things."

Busald admits that he's probably not the lottery system's favorite person.

Many players visualize the island that they would buy or the various creative ways that they could quit their jobs, but Busald dreams of the reaction that his win would get at the state's lottery office.

He said, "If I ever won, it would embarrass the lottery commission so badly."

Copyright (c) 2004, Daily Press


The Level of Intelligence!

Using per capita sales in the 11 state Mega Millions game, San Antonio math students devised a lottery intelligence quotient called "Mega-Q"

Per capita Mega Millions sales in the six months ending June 1, 2004.

New Jersey $15.06
New York $13.28
Georgia $11.65
Michigan $10.86
Virginia $9.57
Illinois $9.53
Ohio $8.91
Maryland $8.80
Massachusetts $7.50
Texas $5.38
Washington $4.78

States Mega-Q Rating
(The higher the number,
the smarter the residents!

Washington 200.5
Texas 178.3
Massachusetts 127.9
Maryland 109.0
Ohio 107.6
Illinois 100.6
Virginia 100.2
Michigan 88.3
Georgia 82.2
New York 72.2
New Jersey 63.7

Compare MegaMillions
sales by state
Click here.

Compare MegaMillions sales to Powerball sales. Click here.

Lotto Texas sales by draw.
Click here.

Lotto Texas sales by "roll."
Click here.

Pick3 sales by draw.
Click here.

Cash5 sales by draw/week
Click here.

Texas 2 Step sales by draw & roll.
Click here.

Powerball sales by draw.
Click here.

Megaplier Sales
Players/States Profit Loss
Click here.

Professor Gerald Busald's Students Give
Current "True Value" Of Lottery Games

A new, very informative web site - compliments of San
Antonio College students. Very Interesting. Click here.
(October 27, 2006)

The Lotto Report
Dawn Nettles
P. O. Box 495033
Garland, Texas 75049-5033
(972) 686-0660
(972) 681-1048 Fax

Comments - E-mail Us