- Even a mismatched vaccine is better than no shot at all (1/17/20)
- Mentors get results, but caring about kids is their top priority (1/16/20)
- Electro-economy continues to gain steam ... er, watts (1/15/20)
- Incentives to put felons to work worth a try (1/13/20)
- Community colleges in good position to help single moms (1/9/20)
- Time for failing to wear a seatbelt to be a primary offense (1/7/20)
- 'Gentle knight' should not be forgotten (1/6/20)
Mixed message on gambling
There's plenty to keep your attention this week if you like playing the odds.
First, there's the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge, in which you could win a billion dollars if you pick out all the winners in the NCAA basketball bracket. That's only the tip of the iceberg; numerous other brackets are floating around the Internet and American offices, costing employers millions of dollars in lost productivity.
Then there's the Mega Millions jackpot, which Nebraskans have been playing since 2010.
Nobody has won Mega Millions since January, so today's drawing is worth $400 million if you take a 29-year annuity, or $224.8 million if you take the cash.
That's the third biggest jackpot ever, and the biggest since March 2012, when three winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland, split $656 million.
Don't lose any sleep if you don't get around to filling out a bracket or buying a Mega Millions ticket; your chances of winning increase only an infinitesimal amount by doing so.
What are your chances?
In the Billion Dollar Bracket challenge, your chances of winning are one in 9.2 quintillion. That's a 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 chance.
Your chances are better of winning the Mega Millions are 1 in 258.9 million, if by "better" you mean nearly nonexistent.
The chances are very good, however, that gambling will be a problem for a Kearney city councilman.
Off-duty police felt compelled to issue a gambling citation to the councilman, Randy Buschkoetter, 49, and his daughter, Danielle, 21, after they saw them exchanging money with a number of other people at the state basketball tournament, and writing names and numbers in a book.
Buschkoetter apologized and felt bad for his daughter, who he said "was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time."
The irony is, bettors who played with Buschkoetter had a much better chance of winning than those who participate in the officially-sanctioned gambling opportunities.
For this he's facing a fine and public disgrace?
Forgive us for seeing a little hypocrisy in the situation ...