MITCHELL’S MUSINGS: Win big or not

Glenn Mitchell considers the possibilities of the big prize

OK, either someone, or two or three, won the $55 million 6/49 jackpot last night or the total, as they say during telethons, is going higher, higher….

And, yes I had a ticket, and, no, I’m not sure if you’ll see me in this space next week if I won, although, hey, I gotta do something, right?

However it’s not like I went crazy and bought a bunch of tickets. I bought my usual double dip on Wednesday after, yet again, checking my double dip from the previous Saturday and it read “sorry, try again.”

I’m thinking I might put that on my tombstone. It kind of works on a few levels, when you think about it, and it’s kind of funny. After all, do we get to try again?

So I figure my lottery addiction is fairly mild. Investing $20 a week to dream big is not that taxing on my personal finances. It’s a voluntary thing too so it’s my choice, right?

And I don’t always make it in time so my average outlay is more like $15 a week.

Plus I’m not one of those who loads up for the really big jackpots. A million is enough for me, in fact a really big one might complicate my life a little too much for my liking.

And it’s not like the odds get any better, the fact that no one’s won the jackpot for nine consecutive draws since March 13 tells you something.

In fact, thanks to a press release from the BCLC, I can tell you that it’s one out of 13,983,816.

Yes, that’s close to one in 14 million.

Ok, I’m pretty sure I’ll be here next week.

But I’m also sure if no one wins again I’ll be buying another 6/49 ticket, along with more than a couple other Canadians, even though the odds will be roughly the same. As in, minimal at best.

Of course, however, it does happen.

Someone, after all, has to win the jackpot sometime, and we all know someone who has won something big.

So, it can happen, and it does happen.

In fact, the largest single prize ever won in this country was a $54.3 million Lotto 6/49 jackpot in Alberta in 2005. So that means if a single person won last night, like say you or me, then it would be a record-breaking feat. So congratulations are in order, if that happens (happened) of course.

If you’re in a group purchase plan, you might find it interesting to know that the largest group to claim a Lotto 6/49 jackpot in B.C. was 22 lucky people from North Vancouver sharing $4.5 million in 2006. My calculator tells me that’s just over $200,000 each, which is a nice round number when you think about it.

And the largest jackpot claimed by a group was six people from Surrey who shared $22 mill in 2005. That’s $3.6 million each, even better.

And just in case you think it’s only metro Vancouver that wins big, six people from Smithers took home $15 million way back in 1993.

The release only mentions B.C., because it’s from B.C., but at least it shows that, unlike what some believe, that all the winners aren’t from Ontario and Quebec, it just seems that way.

So I figure I’ll continue to invest conservatively in what has to be considered a very-high-risk, usually no-reward investment.

Well I have won $10 the odd time but you know what happens to that ‘big’ win.

I know I’m having a bad week when I buy a ‘Set for Life’ ticket, where the best I’ve ever done is a free ticket. Although one time, it should be stated, I won back-to-back free tickets which kept the dream alive for a considerable amount of time and then, alas….

But that’s the beauty of Lotto 6/49 tickets over scratch tickets, the dream lasts longer and the payoff is more than two bucks.

Good luck one and all.