February 22, 2006

"When it's a pool day, we ask people to put in five bucks. So if you wasn't there, or you didn't put five bucks in, sorry."

The 8 meat packing workers who pooled their money for a lottery ticket won $365 million.
At least three of the winners Wednesday are immigrants.

Quang Dao, 56, who like Dung Tran, 34, came to the U.S. from Vietnam about 16 years ago, said he was looking for freedom when he headed for America.

"After I hit the lottery, it also changed my family's life in Vietnam," he said.

Alain Maboussou, a 26-year-old who fled his war-torn homeland in Central Africa, said he planned to earn a degree in accounting now.

"It's too early for me to retire, but I did four days ago. I'm going to be working for myself now," Maboussou said. He said of his three-month-old daughter, Katherine, "she's going to be happy for the rest of her life."
Nice! And be careful!


Sean E said...

I love that that guy is going back to school, to study accounting no less. Roughly $1.5M coming in each year for the next 30 years and he wants to learn a profession.

I don't mean to mock him - I'm sincerly impressed and in awe of that sort of mindset/work ethic.

e said...

I love the mix of folk. And the mind-boggling amount. Only in America. The Lotto-Gods done good this time.

An accountant. This solves his need for finding a good accountant. Very wise.

Freeman Hunt said...

That is so cool! Coming to America and then winning the lottery. Awesome.

Eli Blake said...

Just keep in mind that hundreds of millions of people spent their money on lottery tickets that went in the trash.

I suppose if that's how you get a thrill, that's fine. If you think your taxes are too low and look at it as a way to give the state a few extra bucks to spend, then that is also fine.

But it is amazing how many poor and uneducated people there are who actually figure that if they play long enough they will win one day. Odds like one in a hundred million don't mean anything to them, because they are bad at math.

You're better off to take the same money and buy a penny stock.

As for the hard working immigrant, I'm not a bit surprised. Most first generation immigrants work extremely hard, it's the Americans who are most excited about retirement.

Palladian said...

I can never feel happy for people getting money by luck, though perhaps, in one way or another, that's how we all get our money

Eli's right, I see people at my local lotto deli spending 40 bucks at a time buying tickets, people who look like they have little money to throw away. It seems a real waste, and creepy that it's being run by the state government.

ChrisO said...

I play the lottery faithfully, because it's so important to have a financial plan.

I do hate it when I get lectures from people (notably my father in law) about how long the odds are, how your chances of winning are infinitesimal, etc. I know that. To me, spending a couple of bucks for a ticket enriches my fantasy life, and allows me to dream about what I'd do with the money. As the great comedian Louis CK says, "Every poor person has their whole rich life all planned out." It's worth it to me. And I can guarantee that every one of the people who has ever won, bought a lottery ticket.

And as for the people spending $40 at the convenience store, do you really think if there was no lottery that $40 would be going into a college fund?

ChrisO said...

I would also add that this particular set of winners is a feel good story, and an exception to my rule of hating any winner who isn't me. I can only imagine how awful it must be to work in sanitation at a meat processing plant.

Ann Althouse said...

I know the lottery is a bad idea, but, damn, if it's going to go to any ticket, this was THE right ticket to win.

PatCA said...

Very nice story. I still contend that if you were happy before, the money will only make you happier. Same holds true for unhappy, too, by the way.

Anecdote: When I worked in court, we all had pools like this. When we went on vacation, we made sure to post our buck. Losing out would have been unbearable. We eventually found that the judges had a (secret) system too--they put in five bucks a week each and reinvested the winnings, thinking that dollar cost averaging was the most efficient way to achieve a payday. The accounting spread sheets, the system, the meetings--it was a thing of beauty! Sad to say, they're all still there, toiling in the vineyards.

vnjagvet said...

There is no place like Nebraska. Did you notice that the Vietnamese fellow who bought the winning ticket had on a Husker knit cap? And the presentation at the Cornhusker Hotel, Lincoln's finest complete with Governor. Ya gotta love it.

I am not an advocate for the Lottery, but it is better than the "numbers games" the gangs ran when I was growing up. These were also known as boleto, policy, etc., depending on which ghetto you were playing from.

This group was particularly wholesome.

Kurt said...

I thought the "be careful" link would be to this.

Be very careful.

knoxgirl said...

"Odds like one in a hundred million don't mean anything to them, because they are bad at math."

Dang, be a little condescending why don't you. I think everyone has a pretty good understanding that it's a long shot. sheesh.