Brenternet (The World as seen by Brent Moore)

Trying to appeal to the highest common denominator. I can't give you 110% effort, but I will give you 107.4% effort. If you're a spammer and leave me a comment, I will make fun of you. I use twice as many semicolons compared to most other bloggers

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Location: Smyrna, Tennessee, United States

As the title implies, I am Brent K. Moore. I married MariLynn Simons on Sept. 25, 1999. we attend Stewart's Creek Church of Christ. We have five pets, a dachshund, Slinkie, a malamute, Juno, and three rabbits, Ebunny and Ifurry, and now Houdini.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Odds Are, You'll Have Fun

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One of the joys of the Internet is the ability to listen to any live Major League Baseball game. The Rangers are my team, but my wife likes the Reds. Since she likes the Reds, I kind of like them, too. However, we have a friendly rivalry that we both want our team to do better than the other's team. When we saw them play in person this year, they were battling to not be the worst team in all of baseball, and the Rangers took two of three, as if it was something to be proud of.

Often, when listening to the MLB.com gameday audio feed, I get to hear regional radio commercials for products that I otherwise would never hear. One of the sponsors of Reds Radio is the Ohio Lottery.

In every Ohio Lottery commercial, they use the slogan, "Odds are, you'll have fun." This is rather obvious, but legally their slogan can't be "Odds are, you'll win." In fact, Odds are usually rather low that you would win. What aspect of playing the lottery would I consider fun?

(think carefully!)

(there's only 1 right answer here!)

the answer is:

Winning!

If I used my hard-earned money and bought a $5 lottery ticket and did not win, I would not have had fun. The odds of me having fun playing the Ohio Lottery are identical to the odds of winning the Ohio Lottery.

Perhaps what they're getting at is the thrill that some people have of purchasing a ticket and then using a penny to scratch off the silver spot over the squares that reveal the prize you may or may not have won. If that's how I'd get a thrill, then I'd race to the mailbox every day to see if I got one of those promotional coupons from the furniture store where I might get 10%, 20%, 30% or more off the price of a sofa, depending on the prize underneath the scratch-off.

I suppose there is some kind of adrenaline boost to certain people to buy a lottery ticket and seeing if they're going to win. I suppose in a way, it's a small feeling of the joy you get when you buy a car or a computer, except it's more often than not followed by some buyer's remorse. I'm guessing that the single working mom who isn't sure where she's going to get grocery money this week doesn't get a lot of fun from a losing lotto ticket.

About 3 out of 4 U.S. states have their own state lottery, and I decided to take a look at the other state lotto mottos to see if there was some hidden truth contained within their slogan. For these mottos, I'll list the state and then follow with their motto in bold, and then my motto correction in italics.

Many state lottos, such as my home state of Tennessee do not have a lotto motto. I always look for opportunities to make fun of the state government but have been thwarted this time. Tennessee Government, you may have won the battle this time, but watch out!

The lotto mottos fall into two categories, the first category shows you just how much fun you're having by playing the lottery

Ohio:
Odds are, you'll have fun
Odds are 1 in 16.4 you'll have fun*
(* 16.4 is a number I pulled out of the air)

Illinois:
Have a ball!
Because you're not going to have all 5 balls.

Delaware:
Wanna Play?
Do I have a choice?

(if it's not obvious yet, I'm anti-lottery. I think of the lottery as a tax on people who are bad at math.)

Texas:
Play the Games of Texas.
at least the ones that don't require a lasso or a bull.

Georgia:
Today could be the day.
Today could be the day you squander the money you saved to keep the lights on.

Idaho:
Heat things up.
A blanket is cheaper.

New Hampshire:
Get in the Game.
Experience the agony of defeat.

New Jersey:
Give your dreams a chance.
Visualize the chance to leave New Jersey.

Maryland:
Let yourself play.
There's a tiny part of your brain that thinks using logic and not emotion. Don't listen to that part of the brain.

West Virginia:
The Games People Play.
this slogan is dull. I can't think of something pithy for all of them.

The second type of slogan is the "do it for the children" slogan. It's the kind that reminds you how you can inefficiently help your fellow man as you play for greed.

Connecticut:
Everyone wins when you play the Connecticut Lottery.
Except you.

Virginia:
Helping Virginia's public schools.
Throw away your money. Do it for the children.

Pennsylvania:
Benefits older Pennsylvanians. Every Day.
O.k. Don't do it for the children.

Washington:
It's good to play.
(I can't think of anything to go here, because every time I look at this, my mind goes to Mel Brooks in Brief History of the World Part I when he says "It's good to be the king.")

Colorado:
You're ticket to a more beautiful Colorado.
Do it for the trees. Except the ones we cut down. Make sure you dispose of the losing ticket in the proper waste receptacles.

*****

This post is sponsored by MinitBurger. They're announcing their newest flavor: Chipotle!

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