# Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

May 23rd, 2013 |

## How to Use a Lotto Payout Calculator?

A lottery payout calculator is an online program used to determine how much of a lottery jackpot you will see, instead of the lump sum advertised as the jackpot.

Most lotteries offer an advertised jackpot that is hard to get your head around, if you’re an average working person who is used to thinking of money in terms of hundreds and thousands, and not the millions. Figuring out how much the government is going to withhold in taxes, or how much an annuity is going to pay, is hard to figure in your head.

Instead, you use a lottery payout calculator tool. All you have to do is go to a website with a lottery calculator, put in the amount of the lottery winnings you expect to have, and in a fraction of a second, the lottery jackpot calculator spits out the information you’re seeking.

### Cash After Taxes

One number calculated is “cash payout after taxes”. While tax rates vary from one state to the next, you can get a good general idea of how much of the lottery proceeds you’re going to see, and how much the government is going to see. Let’s take a look at an example.

Imagine you win a lottery with a jackpot of \$10,000,000. Then imagine you decide to take the  “cash option”, where you get a lesser percentage of the jackpot up front, instead of an annuity for the next 30 years. All you have to do is put in the percentage the cash payout is (which you can find on the lottery’s official website) to see how much money you’ll actually take in-hand.

### Percentage of Cash Payout

Let’s continue with this example, assuming the percentage of the cash payout you get in a lump sum amount is 55.4% (which is about average). The cash payout is therefore \$5,540,000, which is what you really win with the cash option.

### Taxes Withheld when Winning the Lottery

But that’s not all yours, of course. If you want to enjoy your big lottery win, you want to keep the state and federal governments happy. So you have to calculate how much of your cash payout you have to give to the government in taxes to make yourself legal. Let’s assume this amount is somewhere around one-third – we’ll say 32%.

If you take out 32% of \$5.54 million, you give \$1,772,800 to the various state and federal authorities. That leaves \$3,767,200 in lottery cash payout after taxes.

### Lottery Cash Payout after Taxes

So when you win a \$10 million jackpot and take the cash option, you’re probably going to see a little over a third of that money in your checking account. Don’t be too upset, though. Somewhere between \$3 million and \$4 million should be more than enough to live on for the rest of your life, if you use good sense.

The problem is, many people who win the lottery don’t practice good sense. That’s why it’s good to have a firm idea in your head how much money is going to be yours. \$3,700,000+ is a ton of money, but it’s not an infinite amount. If you blow your money on big houses and a fleet of cars, and then you make a few bad investments, you’re going to burn through that money real fast. So understand you have to have good sense.

### Annuity Calculator

Any good lottery payout calculator is going to come with lottery annuity payout calculator, too. This is the full payout over a longer period of time, usually 25 to 30 years time. Going back to our example, you see the full \$10,000,000, but it gets paid to you in annuities over a long period of years.

Let’s imagine the full jackpot annuity is paid over 25 years. Then a lottery annuity payout calculator is going to give you the amount of the annuity you are paid each year, until the lottery has entirely paid you the ten million dollars. Lottery annuities tend to start paying one amount, and the amount goes up over the course of the years. For instance, it’s common for the first year’s payment to be in the \$250,000 range.

If you assume the amount starts at \$250,000 and continues to increase in gradual yet steady increments over the years, you are likely to get two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars in the first year, over \$300,000 by year 7, over \$350,000 by year 11, over \$400,000 by year 14, over \$500,000 by year 21, and all the way up over \$597,000 in the 25th and final year of your annuity. So it’s like you have a really well-paying job for the next 25 years of your life, with raises every year.

### Should I Take the Cash Payout Option or the Annuity?

That’s a great question. Most people choose the one lump sum payout, and if you are a good business person and you save your money well, you can turn that \$3.7 million into more than you’ll receive over the course of the annuity. That’s “if” you are those things.

The fact is, most “rich” people who are polled do not live in mansions, drive expensive cars, wear designer clothes, and eat gourmet foods. Most millionaires polled claim they drive nice cars, live in reasonable (yet nice) homes, prefer jeans and t-shirts to double-breasted suits and Paris fashions, and avoid the obscenely expensive restaurants.

That is, rich people conserve their money. They know how hard it is to come by money, so they keep as much of it as they can. They don’t go on spending sprees. They don’t invest in whatever investment opportunity that pops into their knucklehead friends’ heads. Instead, they live comfortably, but not extravagantly, get a stock portfolio and a stock broker who helps them diversify their investments, then find a business they know and understand (or can learn) and invest the rest of their cash in their own business ventures, and otherwise handle their finances like someone with a perishable amount of money.

If you don’t think you’ll do that with on lump sum jackpot amount, then you should take the annuity. But that’s my two-cents worth. Let’s discuss lottery payout calculators again.

### Calculating Jackpot Wealth

The lottery calculator helps you start to visualize what you’ve won in the lottery, or how much you hope to win. Instead of a vast amorphous amount of money, you see what the realistic figure after all the hype has died down and the I.R.S. has taken its share of the jackpot. A good jackpot payout calculator also offers you a breakdown of the kind of money you’ll see yearly as part of an annuity, and eventually lays out before you both options in easy-to-imagine terms. This lets you make a clear-minded decision about which lottery payout you need to take: an annuity or the lump sum payout option.

This post is part of a series of posts we’re publishing about the lottery. Other posts in the series include:

## What Is a MMORPG?

October 9th, 2012 |

Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games

A MMORPG is a “Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game”. MMORPGs like “World of Warcraft”, “Everquest”, and “City of Heroes” are played by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of online gamers every month.

Real-time online role-playing games require a player to have a good graphical interface and highspeed connection on their home computer. These games usually require a monthly subscription to the game site, which is how the MMORPG makes a profit and continues to develop the product.

Leveling Up in MMORPGs

Ongoing membership of a MMORPG community is encouraged through the game mechanic called “progression”, where the player develops the skills and powers of their character, advancing to the upward limit of their character’s potential (often 50th level or 70th level, or a similarly arbitrary level number). Like in tabletop role-playing games, a 1st level character is relatively weak, but faces relatively weak challenges, and progresses to an epic level of skill and power.

Social Interaction in MMORPGs

One major different in an MMORPG and other online fighting games is that players are almost always encouraged to interact on a social level. Using instant messaging, gamers have their characters “talk” to other characters inside their setting. Games are meant to be immersive to one degree or another, much like the virtual world known as Second Life. The combination of virtual world experiences and battle simulation makes the MMORPG a hybrid between a game like Diablo and a game like Second Life.

One way social interaction is encouraged is through the forming of player organizations, usually called “guilds” in World of Warcraft or “teams” in City of Heroes. These organizations organize gaming events, so players can log-in at prearranged times to game with their online friends, leveling up together as they face the same challenges at the same character levels.

MMORPG Role-Playing

This social interaction varies from one player to the next. The decision whether to role-play or “stay in-character” is a decision MMORPGers must decide. Role-playing means a player doesn’t not break the fourth wall, and instead speaks only on behalf of their character and only comments on the scene and the conversation in the gaming world. Certain player groups meet with the specific intention of role-playing the night’s scenario, and have a dim view of players (who interact with their group) who refuse to do otherwise.

Other MMORPG players have no interest in role-playing, and are more interested in tactics, the challenge of fighting monsters or villains, and reaching another level. These players might find RPG gaming “geeky” or pointless, or they might not want to keep up with a running dialogue and type their responses. Players prone to net speak or who aren’t particularly good at role-playing might want to role-play, but might spoil the mood for their gaming group anyway.

Player Versus Player

MMORPG gamers like World of Warcraft have special sections where called “PVP” or “player versus player” areas, where their characters actually face simulated mortality in battle with other players in the setting. “Dying” in these zero-sum environments might cause the end of the character, or a severe in-game penalty to that character’s development. This is opposed to player verses environment or “PvE” gaming against pre-generated computer opponents, where the point is to join a group in a non-zero sum environment, and defeating the challenge means advancement for all the characters involved.

Some games have unregulated PvP, preferring to regulate player actions through a “frontier justice” mentality. Player killing or “ganking” in these environments might be regulated by revenge killings, or more likely, ostracism from gaming groups. In many games, a character who initiates a PvP situation recently glows a certain color, letting other players know this is a dangerous gamer. In other games, anti-PK vigilantes hunt and eliminate player killers and griefers. Some games prefer to deduct advancement points from gankers.

Virtual Economy in MMORPGs

Table and dice role-playing like AD&D early on made acquisition a major part of the game. In sword-and-sorcery tabletop RPGs, killing monsters and taking their possessions is a major part of the game. This acquisitiveness transferred to massively multiplayer online roleplaying games, so most MMORPGs have their own virtual economy. Players collect objects and can trade them for advancement, other objects they covet, or other advantages.

In games where players can exchange objects among themselves, a simulated economy has sprung up, where certain successful gamers actually have more wealth than others. These economies are handled in a myriad of different ways (respect ratings, for instance), but in some cases, people have converted simulated wealth into real-world financial gains, though nothing on the level of the Second Life virtual economy, where the Feds once looked into shutting down virtual gambling on Second Life, because they thought it might break U.S. gambling laws.

As you can see, the successful MMORPG immerses a player into a distinct fictional world, where they pretend to be someone living in that world. They interact with other people inside the MMORPG, gain a reputation, gain wealth and experience, and otherwise live out a proxy life inside a simulated environment. The MMORPG world tends to be violent and exotic by modern standards, which many gamers find particularly stimulating–stimulating enough to pay a monthly fee to continue the experience.

More MMORPG Games

Below is a list of some of the MMORPGs you might have heard about or might gain a following. As you can see, many of the popular fantasy and fiction universes are candidates to become a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, because these fictional worlds have shown they can attract fans and spark the imagination of people.

The most popular MMORPGs traditionally have not come from established fictional settings, but began as a relatively generic fictional setting or one familiar, yet slightly different, than the ones players know. For instance, World of Warcraft bears a striking resemblance to the fantasy worlds in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons tabletop role-playing games, which themselves borrow a lot of conventions from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels, but WoW added enough new racial character types to give gamers a slightly different experience.

See also:

## What Are Megamillions Numbers?

October 7th, 2012 |

What Are Mega Millions Numbers?

Megamillions numbers are the six numbers drawn every Tuesday and Friday in the Mega Millions lottery. The first five numbers are drawn from a set of lottery balls numbered 1 through 56, while the sixth ball is drawn from a set of balls numbers 1 through 46. Match your numbers with the drawn lottery numbers and you win the lottery.

How Megamillions Is Played

The Megamillions Lottery is played for \$1. Players in certain states have the option to buy a 4x multiplier for the price of \$1 more. Other states never allowed the megaplier option.

People across the nation buy their tickets at Megamillions Lottery terminals, often in convenience stores and other selected locations in the participating states. Players pay their money and get a ticket receipt with their numbers on the ticket. When the drawings are held, people can watch the drawing and compare their numbers with that week’s (and night’s) winning numbers. If you get a certain winning combination, you win the lottery and collect your winnings. If all 6 numbers match, you win the big Megamillions jackpot.

Megamillions Jackpot Drawing

Every week on Tuesday night at 11 pm Eastern Standard Time and Friday night at 11 pm ESt. The drawing is held at the WSB-TV studio in Atlanta, Georgia. Originally (and strangely), WSB’s weatherman, Glenn Burns, hosted the drawings. These days, the bi-weekly drawings are hosted by John Crow or Courtney Cason (less frequently). When a jackpot exceeds \$200 million, the Megamillions drawing is held at New York City’s Times Square.

Winning Prizes In Mega Millions Lotteries

Here’s what the payouts are for matching numbers in the Megamillions Lottery. The more numbers you match, the bigger the payout. If you want to win the Megamillions Jackpot, every number has to match perfectly. The yellow Megamillions ball is worth more than the others, though you can still win big money without a matching yellow number.

• \$250,000 – 5 Matching White Numbers and 0 Matching Yellow Number
• \$10,000 – 4 Matching White Numbers and 1 Matching Yellow Number
• \$150 – 4 Matching White Numbers and 0 Matching Yellow Number
• \$150 – 3 Matching White Numbers and 1 Matching Yellow Number
• \$10 – 2 Matching White Numbers and 1 Matching Yellow Number
• \$7 – 3 Matching White Numbers
• \$3 – 1 Matching White Number and 1 Matching Yellow Number
• \$2 – Matching Yellow Number

Cross-Selling Expansion – Mega Millions and Powerball

The Mega Millions Consortium came to a cross-selling arrangement with the Multi-State Lottery Association, also known as the MUSL, to cross-sell Megamillions and Powerfull in many US jurisdictions. Twenty-three different Powerball states (listed below) started selling Mega Millions tickets in January of 2010. It’s quite possible that this is a temporary arrangement, with the expansion eventually leading to the merger of the two games into one single lottery.

Mega Millions States as of January 31, 2010

A whole host of states only joined the Megamillions network in early 2010, so many lottery players may not be aware that their local state supports Mega Millions lotteries. Here’s the list of the latest Megamillions lottery states.

• Arkansas Megamillions
• Connecticut Megamillions
• Delaware Megamillions
• District of Columbia Mega Millions
• Idaho Megamillions
• Indiana Megamillions
• Iowa Megamillions
• Kansas Megamillions
• Kentucky Megamillions
• Minnesota Megamillions
• Missouri Megamillions
• New Hampshire Megamillions
• New Mexico Megamillions
• North Carolina Megamillions
• North Dakota Megamillions
• Pennsylvania Megamillions
• Rhode Island Megamillions
• South Carolina Megamillions
• Tennessee Megamillions
• Vermont Megamillions
• West Virginia Megamillions
• Wisconsin Megamillions

Megamillions Consortium States before 2010

The Mega Millions Consortium started their lottery as far back as 1996, though. Back in 1996, U.S. states began to offer the Mega Millions jackpots for lottery players. Here is a list of the first states to offer Megamillions payouts, along with the year each state started playing Megamillions.

• Georgia Megamillions (1996)
• Illinois Megamillions (1996)
• Maryland Megamillions (1996)
• Massachusetts Megamillions (1996)
• Michigan Megamillions (1996)
• Virginia Megamillions (1996)
• New Jersey Megamillions (1999)
• New York Megamillions (2002)
• Ohio Megamillions (2002)
• Washington Megamillions (2002)
• Texas Megamillions (2003)
• California Megamillions (2005)

Mega Millions States – 2010 Megamillions States

After the big wave of states that joined the Megamillions Lottery in January happened, seven other U.S. states came aboard later in the year. The latest additions bring the total of Mega Millions states to 40, along with Washington D.C.

• Montana Megamillions (March 1, 2010)
• Nebraska Megamillions (March 20, 2010)
• Oregon Megamillions (March 28, 2010)
• Arizona Megamillions (April 18, 2010)
• Maine Megamillions (May 9, 2010)
• Colorado Megamillions (May 16, 2010)
• South Dakota Megamillions (May 16, 2010)

Megamillions Lottery

The Megamillions lottery changes its game all the time, to keep the game fresh and to give the Megamillions Consortium new opportunties to promote their game. Lottery tickets might look differently and the prize amounts fluctuate, but the Megamillions Lottery operates on the same principle it has since 1996 – get six winning numbers and you get rich.

## Where Can I Play Free Card Games Online?

May 13th, 2011 |

Free card games online are easy to find. But depending on what kind of card game you want to play, some choices are better than others. I love to play card games, and I have ever since I was a kid. My mom taught us to play all kinds of games, including card games like solitaire, spades, and blackjack. I prefer to play with other people over drinks so that we can socialize face-to-face while we play. But I enjoy playing some card games on the Internet too. Here are some of my favorite places at which to play, organized by the type of card game.

Where to Play Dominion Online

Right now, my personal favorite card game to play is Dominion. It’s a deck-building game, like Magic the Gathering, only it’s not a collectible card game. It’s fun to play in person, but you can play Dominion online at BrettSpielWelt, which is a German boardgame site.  They offer several other card games AND board games too, like Carcassone, Puerto Rico, and Pandemic.

Where to Play Magic the Gathering Online

I played literally dozens of games of Magic the Gathering online before I got frustrated and gave up. I lost EVERY game I played. My win percentage at Dominion is close to 40%, which means that I’m not a complete dolt, but for some reason, I just don’t “get” Magic the Gathering. But anyway, it’s available to play online here: Magic Online.

Where to Play Poker Online

Until a few weeks ago, there were a lot of places where you could play poker online for real money–sites like PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, and Absolute Poker. But they got in trouble for accepting real money players from the United States, and now, USA based players can’t play there. (Actually, I think they can still play there. They just can’t play in the real money games there.

My suggestion for free poker games online is a new site, Zodiac Holdem. You don’t have to download any software in order to play there, and the games are straightforward limit holdem games. It’s a multiplayer poker site, too, so you ARE playing poker with other people. You’re just not playing for real money.

Where to Play Spades Online

Spades is probably my favorite card game. I used to play two player Spades with my mom for countless hours when I was growing up. And when I went to college, we played Spades constantly in the lobbies of the dorms. (In fact, I even met one of my best-looking girlfriends playing Spades with her in the lobby of one particular dorm. It didn’t last long, but I hope she still thinks of me occasionally when the topic of card games comes up.)

My favorite place to play Spades online is at Pogo. World Winner offers a Spades variation too, but it doesn’t play like a regular game of Spades at all. It’s still plenty of fun though. I haven’t played there in a long time, but if you do like playing games with a cash element, World Winner’s Spades game is worth trying.

Where to Play Blackjack Online

Blackjack has the same problem that poker has–the legality of playing it for real money on the Internet is questionable. That being said, no one has ever been convicted (or even prosecuted) for playing blackjack on the Internet. We don’t recommend real money gambling sites on AskDeb, but if you just want to play for fun, there are plenty of play money blackjack options online.

Catch 21 from World Winner isn’t exactly a blackjack game, but you are trying to catch cards and wind up with a total of 21. It’s more of a solitaire type game than anything else. But it’s loads of fun.

Hit or Stand is probably the most famous free blackjack site on the Internet. Their game isn’t just a game to play though; it’s also a basic strategy trainer. In blackjack, if you play with the correct strategy, the house edge is much lower than if you just play by the seat of your pants. The house edge at blackjack is only about 0.5% if you’re using perfect basic strategy when you play, compared to a house edge of 2% to 4% if you have no clue about correct strategy.

Where to Play Solitaire Online

I played a LOT of solitaire as a kid, but I don’t know how to play most of the more popular online solitaire games that are now available. The solitaire game I grew up playing was Klondike, and before the Internet, I didn’t even know that there WERE other kinds of solitaire games to play. Most computers come with a basic solitaire game available, so you don’t even need the Internet to play solitaire. But if you DO want to try some of the online versions of solitaire available, then the best solitaire site on the Internet is World of Solitaire. The site offers over 50 different varieties of solitaire to choose from, all of which load fast and look great. I don’t know why you’d ever need another solitaire site.

Where to Play Rummy Online

I played a little rummy growing up, but I never really got into the whole “online rummy” thing. For a while, webmasters and affiliates were hoping that rummy would be the next poker, but I don’t think it’s ever going to catch on in the same way that poker has. Rummy’s just not as much fun, and the money’s not there. Rummy Royal is my pick for the best online version of rummy available.

Other Games You Can Play Online

I’m also a big fan of playing boardgames online when I can. My favorite is Scrabble at Facebook. Pogo offers a variety of boardgames you can play on the Internet. Traditional board games like chess, checkers, backgammon, and go are available at all kinds of sites. Since there’s no trademark claim on those older traditional boardgames, any developer can create his own version of a game like that and put it on the Internet for people to play.

Playing games online is fun, even if you’re an old guy like me who likes playing traditional board games and card games. (The younger generation seems to like all of these MMORPGs and video games.) So have fun and play what you want.

## What to Do with a Broken PS3?

April 21st, 2011 |

What to Do with a Broken PS3?

You’re in the middle of a marathon Batman: Arkham Asylum session and your PS3 stops working. Maybe the disc simply won’t read or (even worse) the machine turns off and won’t turn back on. It’s happened to plenty of people before you–and unfortunately, there’s nothing saying it won’t happen again. Generally, Sony’s gaming systems are reliable. Give your PS3 a well-ventilated space, keep the dust away from the machine, and try to avoid throwing it up against the wall and you probably won’t have any trouble. But for those gamers who can’t bring themselves to dust their house every now and again, the PS3′s sensitivity to dust may be a problem.

When your PS3 breaks, you only have a couple of options. If you think you have a problem with the ventilation fan or the lens that physically reads the discs, you may be able to deal with this problem on your own. Again, most problems with the fan or the lens are caused by dust and grime–if the fan gets too clogged with dust and grime, the PS3 itself will pretty much shut down. This is a stop-gap measure to keep your nasty dusty gaming environment from completely destroying your machine. If the lens gets too dusty, it won’t be able to read the discs you insert.

Broken PS3 Repair

Before you go digging around in your own PS3, remember that Sony offers a one-year warranty for most issues. If you haven’t had your PS3 for more than a year and you have proof of purchase, you can let Sony take care of the problem. In most cases, they’ll even give you a replacement machine rather than try to repair the problem.

If you don’t have proof of purchase or if you are outside the one-year warranty, it may be worthwhile to try to fix your PS3 problem on your own. WARNING: please don’t go trying to fix your own PS3 if you have no motor skills or aren’t comfortable trying to fix a machine in such a way that could damage it further. What you do is up to you–we don’t take any responsibility for any damage you cause with your clumsiness.

Your first step should be running your PS3 in “safe mode.” This is similar to running a PC in safe mode–you can restore default settings and even the entire file system. You can also restore the entire system or rebuild the database. Sony recommends that you backup your data before you attempt to run in safe mode. Here is Sony’s guide to working in safe mode on your PS3.  Sony suggests only using safe mode if your PS3 is experiencing the following symptoms:

• When the PS3 system starts up, the XMB menu does not come up.
• When the PS3 system starts up, nothing at all appears on the screen.
• When the PS3 system starts up, a message stating “The hard disk’s file system is corrupted and will be restored” is displayed.
• When the PS3 system starts up, a message stating “The hard disk’s database will be rebuilt” is displayed.
• If your PS3 system stops while restarting after a PS3 system update or while updating or rebuilding the database.

There are simpler ways to try and fix your system, namely cleaning your PS3 discs with a gentle cloth, cleaning the lens with Sony’s special lens-cleaning formula, or (if you’re really brave) cleaning any dust and grime from the fan yourself. I’m not gonna tell you how to do this–if you’re handy enough to clean the fan, you’re handy enough to know how to access it.

Broken PS3 for Sale

If you don’t want to fix your own PS3 and if you don’t have the proper papers to allow Sony to fix it for you, you may have considered trying to sell your busted PS3 system. You’re not going to make much money, but there are some people willing to purchase your broken PS3 machine.

Your first place to sell your broken PS3 is on eBay. There are always hundreds of broken PS3′s for sale there. People buy these machines to use the parts. Don’t ask what they do with them–presumably they use them to fix their own machines or to fix other people’s. Why do you care what they do with your broken equipment?

Selling your broken PS3 is a good way to recover some of your lost investment.

Broken PS3 Value

Depending on the size of your PS3′s memory, the style of the machine, and a few other details, you can expect to sell it for between \$50 and \$130 on any decent auction site. If you have a relatively new 160 GB PS3 slim model, you’ll get a pretty good amount of cash. If, on the other hand, you have a 40GB machine, the value of your broken PS3 shrinks considerably.

When your PS3 breaks, it isn’t the end of the world. In many cases, Sony will fix the machine for you–worst case, they’ll charge you \$150 (US) to have the machine repaired. If you’re handy with electronics, you may be able to fix the machine on your own. If all else fails, you can get some of your money back by selling your broken PS3 on eBay or Craigslist.

## What Is Angry Birds?

February 3rd, 2011 |

What Is Angry Birds?

Angry Birds is a video game originally designed for Apple’s iPhone OS mobile operating system, which has currently sold over 12 million units in just over 1 year (released in December 2009). “Angry Birds” has been praised for its low price, tongue-in-cheek nature, and (most important) addictive capacity.

In fact, the Angry Birds puzzle game was so popular at Apple’s app store that the designers (Rovio Mobile of Finland) have begun designing versions for all the major touchscreen smartphones and a number of traditional operating systems, so today, you’ll find Angry Birds not only on iOS, but also for Android phones, Symbian^3 smartphones for Nokia, Maemo for Nokia N900, Palm webOS for Sprint phones, Verizon Wireless, and AT&T products, Windows, Mac OS X, and even the Playstation.

Angry Birds in Pop Culture

The Angry Birds became a viral pop culture phenom at a point, even referecned in many tv programs and news shows worldwide, including Conan O’Brien’s TBS show, Conan, the Israeli sketch comedy show, Eretz Nehederet (A Wonderful Country), as well as news media outlets like The Guardians, MSNBC, Haaretz, and The Christian Science Monitor. T-shirts, plush dolls, Mattel board games have been produced or are in production, while Rovio Mobile’s CEO, Mikael Hed, hopes to see a stop-motion animated film.

With that kind of buzz and the low price of the application, it’s almost required that any good pop culture aficionado or tech geek has to try out Angry Birds, just so they know what everybody’s talking about.

How Does Angry Birds Work?

Gameplay in Angry Birds revolves around a flock of birds who have had their eggs stolen by evil green pigs. Players control the irate flock of birds and fly the birds either at the pigs or at the structures the pigs are taking cover under. Collapse the wooden, stone, and ice structures, and these buildings fall down on the pigs and kill them. In later stages of the game, explosives are found in certain crates, which are needed to annihilate well-hidden pigs.

Unlocking Special Birds

You start play with a standard red bird. As the game transpired, you have the chance to unlock special birds with special abilities. Blue bird can become a triplicate, while white birds drop explosive eggs (“We must kill the eggs in order to save them”), while the black birds have the ability to explode themselves.

Meanwhile, certain pigs have unique abilities or equipment, too. Some pigs are easy to kill, while others take a lot of damage, or wear special equipment that increases their damage capacity.

Completing Levels in Angry Birds

Levels are gained in Angry Birds by defeating all of the pigs before you run out of birds to use. You get points depending on the damage done to pigs, while bonus points are given for unused birds. Besides the point value, players are graded on a 1-3 scale of stars. If you don’t like this last grade, you can retry the level until you get a 3-star rating.

That’s all there is to Angry Birds, though with any game, it’s how the game is executed that makes all the difference. The wide popularity of the game revolves around how fun it is to play and keep playing.

Angry Birds Game Development

Rovio produced Angry Birds in 2009, so this is still a new video game. When it came time to propose new games, one of the senior designers faked a screenshot with angry-looking birds on it. That sliver of an idea evolved into the Angry Birds game, apparently.

Because the swine flu epidemic was a major factor in the news in 2009, the designers decided to make the birds’ enemies swine. The original release of the game included the episode “Angry Birds: Poached Eggs”, which contained 3 levels with 21 sub-levels apiece.

Angry Birds Episodes

Since that time, Rovio has released new episodes and updates, adding to the Angry Birds universe. There is no standard size to the episodes, but they tend to contain between 1-2 new themes and either 15 or 21 levels per theme. Here is the full list of Angry Bird episodes.

1. Angry Birds: Poached Eggs – 3 Themes, 21 Levels per Theme
2. Angry Birds: Mighty Hox – 2 Themes, 21 Levels per Theme
3. Angry Birds: Danger Above – 1 Theme, 15 Levels, “Golden Eggs” Feature
4. Angry Birds: The Big Setup – 2 Themes, 15 Levels per Theme, 1 New Golden Egg Feature
5. Angry Birds: Ham ‘Em High – 1 Theme, 15 Levels, New Bird (Mighty Eagle)

When you purchase the “Mighty Eagle”, the new bird lets you clear out any level, though you can only use this bird one hour per uncompleted level. If you clear the level without the Mighty Eagle, this restriction is removed. Also, you can try to the Mighty Eagle feather by playing an already-cleared level and going to 100% total destruction.

Angry Birds Android Phone Troubles

When Angry Birds was being designed for the Android phones, a problem arose with the great many of configurations (78 to 79 hardware and software corporations support Android phones), which made it more difficult to build a universal interface than it was with the Apple phones. To get around this problem, over 30 different types of Android phones originally could not use Angry Birds for Android. Subsequently, a simpler version of Angry Birds was designed for these mobile phones.

You can expect Rovio to continue producing new episodes for Angry Birds, while continuing to expand to new operating systems. If your OS isn’t compatible with Angry Birds yet, wait a little while and it will be. Angry Birds and those evil green pigs have taken the world by storm.

See also:

## What Is Wii Fit?

January 23rd, 2011 |

What Is Wii Fit?

Wii Fit is a video game designed by the Nintendo company for their Nintendo Wii video game console. Wii Fit is a fitness game, designed to lead players through an exercise program. The Wii Fit has been a tremendous success, selling the third-most copies of any console game in video game history (22.6 million and counting).

How Does Wii Fit Work?

Playing the Wii Fit game requires use fo the Wii Balance Board, a specially designed “platform peripheral”. The Wii Balance Board looks quite similar to a step-up body scale people use to measure themselves in their household. The device has a basic white top and a light gray base.

Wii Balance Board

When you play Wii Fit, you stand on the Wii Balance Board, which is outfitted with electronic sensors to record and chart your progress through the game. The board has about 60 hours of battery power, and it is thought to measure a person’s weight and center of balance more accurately than your average bathroom scale.

Though the Wii Balance Board is considered a top of the line, revolutionary video game peripheral device, the design is actually quite similar to the 1982 Atari Joyboard. Of course, the Nintendo Wii Balance Board is a great deal more advanced. The designers claim their device is based on the double scales that sumo wrestlers use to weigh themselves.

Does Wii Fit Simulate Exercise?

Wii Fit induces the player to get exercise in a number of different ways, involving both strength training and cardiovascular training. In fact, national health club chains have even bought Wii Fit devices to place in their gyms, while nursing homes have bought Wii consoles and the Wii Fit video game to help nursing home patients achieve better posture.

Wii Fit game play features mini-games involving aerobics, yoga, strength training, and balance contests. As the name implies, Wii Fit is meant to convince people to get a little exercise while they’re gaming. The main designer’s stated goal is to get the entire family to exercise together, though I’m not so sure the Wii Fit’s popularity has translated into family fitness games. As a single-person fitness game, the Wii Fit has had startling success.

While the Wii Fit has gotten gentle criticism from some fitness experts for the lightness of their exercise programs, the game has gotten generally positive reviews from most people–inside or outside the fitness world.

Wii Fitness – The Nintendo Video Game

Nintendo designed the Nintendo Wii to be inexpensive and to encourage people to become more active when playing video games. I know video game enthusiasts who have no desire to combine their video game sessions with gym sessions, the concept has been hugely popular with a large part of the video game community. Wii Fit is the current apex of electronic fitness gaming.

What Is Wii Fit Plus?

Wii Fit Plus is an enhanced version of the original Wii Fit, featuring all the original fitness games, as well as fifteen new areobics and balance games, 6 new yoga and strength training exercise games, the option to custom-build fitness regimens, the ability to register your babies (and pets) fitness profiles, and to keep track of calories burned with their own on-board calorie counter.

See also:

## Lottery Statistics

September 24th, 2010 |

### Lottery Stats

Looking at the lottery statistics from the hundreds and thousands of lottery drawings over the years lets you dissect and analyze which number combinations win the most, and why.

Once you start to see the winning patterns, you might not be able to guess which are going to be the winning number combination in the upcoming lottery drawing, but you can set a range of numbers that are (supposedly) more likely to win, statistically.

I’ve chosen to look at the Mega Millions and Powerball lottery games over the past 20 years or so, since those are the U.S. lottery games more people are likely to be familiar with. Keep in mind there is a fallacy inherent in the analysis of even/odd number combinations, because there are more combinations of numbers with 3 evens/3 odds, and therefore those are most likely to be drawn. Since there are more combinations, this does not necessarily mean the 3/3 even-odd combination you choose is any more likely than a 6-even, 0-odd combination is to hit.

### Mega Millions Lottery Number Statistics

Below are the number of times that different Even/Odd number combinations have won in the 800+ Megamillions and Big Game lottery drawings over the years. While there have been more even numbers (2253) drawn than odd numbers (2107), you’ll notice that it’s highly unlikely that 6 even numbers or 6 odds numbers are going to be drawn themselves. If you want to play the odds, you want to select a nice mixture of odds and even numbers, either 4/2, 3/3 or 2/4. Of those, the 3 Even and 3 Odds combination is still way ahead of the next leading combination, with 81 more wins, which is nearly 10% of the entire sample. With over 35% of the wins coming with 3 odd and 3 even numbers, it’s probably a good idea to diversify.

• 6 Even Numbers + 0 Odd Numbers – 14
• 5 Even Numbers + 1 Odd Number – 75
• 4 Even Numbers + 2 Odd Numbers – 224
• 3 Even Numbers + 3 Odd Numbers – 305
• 2 Even Numbers + 4 Odd Numbers – 184
• 1 Even Number + 5 Odd Numbers – 63
• 0 Even Numbers + 6 Odd Numbers – 7

### Mega Millions Lottery Statistics – Sum of Numbers Chosen

Another way to look at the lottery numbers is what those numbers add up to, if you add all 6 winning lottery numbers together. In this way, you can choose a range of numbers that adds up to an optimal amount.

I’ll list the number of winning lotteries alongside the numbers range (of the sum of 6 numbers), to show where you should be choosing numbers. (See this article on How to Pick Lottery Numbers too.) The second statistics, “Sum of the Numbers”, shows what range of numbers the additional of all six come to. So if the range is between 121 and 130, the additional of all six winning lottery numbers added up to a number within that range.

Wins — Sum of the Numbers

0 —– 15 to 30
10 — 31 to 60
13 — 61 to 70
18 — 71 to 80
26 — 81 to 90
50 — 91 to 100
63 — 101 to 110
69 — 111 to 120
97 — 121 to 130
93 — 131 to 140
99 — 141 to 150
79 — 151 to 160
82 — 161 to 170
77 — 171 to 180
46 — 181 to 190
21 — 191 to 200
16 — 201 to 210
9 —– 211 to 220
3 —– 221 to 230
3 —– 231 to 240
0 —– 241 to 270

The average sum of all the winning numbers comes to 140. But as you can see, the three ranges between 121 and 150 are the three to target, because while 121-130, 131-140, and 141-150 have roughly the same number of winning combinations, each of those three ranges are significantly higher than the next best number combination.

From analyzing these Megamillions lottery statistics, the best option is to select a number combination including 3 even numbers and 3 odd numbers, but whose sums come to right around 140 in total. For instance, you might choose 3, 14, 20, 29, 33 and 52 (52 not being for the yellow ball, of course), which adds up to 141. That’s just one of countless examples, but your range should be in that 131 to 150 category, and as close to 140 as possible, if you want optimal probabilities.

### Powerball Lottery Number Statistics

In the case of the Powerball statistics, you’ll notice that the general outline of the statistics are the same. In Powerball, though, the odd numbers have been winning numbers a little more often, with 4046 odd winning numbers and 4024 even winning numbers. The odd numbers have been particularly successful for the actual Power Ball, with 692 winning odd Power Ball numbers and 653 for the even winning Power Ball numbers. But choosing 3 even numbers and 3 odds numbers remains the median statistic, while 4/2 in favor of the odds and 2/4 in favor of the evens have significant numbers of wins.

• 6 Even Numbers + 0 Odd Numbers – 15
• 5 Even Numbers + 1 Odd Number – 125
• 4 Even Numbers + 2 Odd Numbers – 314
• 3 Even Numbers + 3 Odd Numbers – 417
• 2 Even Numbers + 4 Odd Numbers – 344
• 1 Even Number + 5 Odd Numbers – 114
• 0 Even Numbers + 6 Odd Numbers – 16

### Powerball Lottery Statistics – Sum of Numbers Chosen

For this analysis, I’m going to leave out the Powerball stats, which can throw off the calculations somewhat, since they are a separate selection process. So the following is only for the 5 non-Powerball drawn numbers.

Wins — Sum of the Numbers

1 —— 15 to 30
17 —– 31 to 60
15 —– 61 to 70
24 —– 71 to 80
59 —– 81 to 90
89 —– 91 to 100
111 — 101 to 110
131 — 111 to 120
152 — 121 to 130
164 — 131 to 140
137 — 141 to 150
137 — 151 to 160
107 — 161 to 170
69 —– 171 to 180
62 —– 181 to 190
37 —– 191 to 200
14 —– 201 to 210
7 —— 211 to 220
5 —— 221 to 230
1 —— 231 to 240
2 —— 241 to 250
1 —— 251 to 260
0 —— 261 to 285

### Powerball Winning Number Statistics

Finally, here is a breakdown of which red Power Ball numbers came up as the winning number the most. I wouldn’t put much weight into the following statistics, though, because I see now reason to think any one number is more likely to be drawn than the next. It’s just that even a 1000+ drawings is too small of a statistical sample for the deviations to smooth out. The number “20″ is no more or less likely to be drawn than the number “5″, unless you believe there is a mechanical flaw in the balls that keep the 20 coming up more often (not likely).

For information and entertainment purposes, though, I’ve included the following numbers

#of Wins                 Lottery Number

0 — 5, 49
1 — 2, 8, 24, 34, 40, 46, 54
2 — 3, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 26, 28, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 50, 53, 55, 58, 59
3 — 1, 6, 9, 16, 23, 25, 29, 32, 35, 37, 47, 48, 51, 56, 57
4 — 7, 11, 13, 17, 21, 31, 33, 39, 52
5 — 4
6 — 36, 38
7 — 10, 22, 27
8 — 20, 30

These numbers suggest you select 3 odd numbers and 3 even numbers when choosing to play the Powerball lottery, and have those 5 white balls add up to somewhere between 131 and 140 (135 being the median value). When it’s time to choose your Powerball number, use the numbers above to choose the “hot” numbers or the numbers that are “due”, or just select your own at random. (See Pick Lottery Numbers.)

### Lottery Stats – Analyzing the Lottery

Once again, there is just a larger number of 3-even, 3-odd number combinations, so no one combination is likely to be more likely to hit than any other combination, even those with all evens or all odds. That’s the trouble with looking at any lottery statistics, as the numbers can be misleading, if you aren’t careful. In the end, the odds are tremendously against you ever winning the lottery, so I suggest you take a deep breath, choose the first six numbers that come to mind, and enjoy your chance at hitting the jackpot. (I prefer the easier odds and smaller payouts that are available at WorldWinner, personally.)

## What Are Power Ball Numbers?

September 22nd, 2010 |

### What Are Powerball Numbers?

Power Ball numbers are the winning number combination in the Powerball lottery held twice weekly. (See How to Play the Powerball Lottery.) The Power Ball drawing is held every Wednesday night and Sunday night at 10:59 pm Eastern time at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.

Powerball numbers are drawn at random from two different hoppers: the one with the 59 white balls and the one with the 39 yellow balls.

The white Power Balls are numbered 1 through 59. Each drawing, five of these balls are drawn, so you get 5 random numbers between 1 and 59, with no repeats. There is only one Power Ball drawn from among the 39 yellow balls, and this number is technically the “Powerball” which gives the lottery its name. That’s because the yellow power ball gives you bigger wins when it comes up with a combination of matching numbers that are less than six. All six numbers have to match the numbers on your ticket for you to win the Powerball jackpot.

### Powerball Jackpot

The Power Ball Jackpot prize starts out at \$20,000,000 for the first drawing. If there is no winner on the first drawing, then more money is added to the jackpot amount for the next jackpot drawing. This continues until a winning match is found, so the jackpot can roll over until it’s worth several hundred million dollars. The American record lottery prize is held by the Powerball lottery, coming in at a \$365,000,000 jackpot.

Of course, if someone else has the same matching numbers, you must share the jackpot amount. In the case of the record prize amount, 8 different people had the matching Power Ball numbers, so the prize was split eight different ways. You should note that jackpots that get into the hundreds of millions begin to get major public attention, not just from the general lottery playing citizens, but from the local and national media.

This means many more people buy lottery tickets for the big jackpots – even people who don’t normally play the lottery. You can say that some people won’t buy a ticket for “only” \$20 million, but they will buy a ticket for \$200 million. Go figure.

### Power Ball Numbers – Other Prizes

Powerball is not an all-or-nothing game, though. If you don’t win the big jackpot amount, but you still get several of the winning numbers, you win a lesser prize. The more balls you get, the bigger your winnings. This is where the yellow ball becomes more important than the other balls, because it activates more winnings. Below is a breakdown of the prize amounts in Powerball, along with the odds of winning that prize.

Powerball Matches                                Prizes                           Odds of Winning

All 5 numbers + Powerball                  Jackpot                          195,249,054 to 1 odds
All 5 numbers (no Powerball)             \$200,000                      5,138,133 to 1 odds
4 Numbers + Powerball                       \$10,000                        723,144 to 1 odds
4 Numbers (no Powerball)                  \$100                             19,030 to 1 odds
3 Numbers + Powerball                       \$100                             13,644 to 1 odds
3 Numbers (no Powerball)                  \$7                                  359 to 1 odds
2 Numbers + Powerball                       \$7                                  787 to 1 odds
1 Number + Powerball                         \$4                                  123 to 1 odds
0 Numbers + Powerball                       \$4                                  61 to 1 odds

### Power Ball Megaplier Options

So you get periodic prizes, whether you win the big jackpot or not. There’s also a way to multiply your winnings on all but the Powerball jackpot and 2nd-prize amount, if you choose the Power Play option. For an extra dollar on the lottery ticket, you activate the multiplier option, which gives you the option to multiply your winnings on the seven lowest prize tiers by anywhere from 2 times to 5 times the original prize amount. Lottery players have to decide whether it’s worth it to them to spend extra cash on increasing their prizes on smaller prize amounts they are more likely to win, or whether they want to increase the chance (albeit only slightly) of winning the big Powerball jackpot prize.

### Powerball States

Powerball began as a “Lotto America”, a cooperative effort of six less populous states and the District of Columbia to combine their lottery ticket-buying demographics to increase the size of their jackpots. The organization organizing Lotto* America drawings was the Multi-State Lottery Association, often shortened to MUSL. MUSL put together the District of Columbia (Washington DC) along with the states of Rhode Island, West Virginia, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Oregon, whose citizens had the opportunity to buy the Lottery* America tickets. The first drawing was held in February of 1988.

In the subsequent years, other states joined the Lotto America lottery system, including Wisconsin and Montana in 1989, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Indiana, and South Dakota in 1990, as well as Kentucky and Delaware in 1991. Besides Maine, these would be the states involved when the Lottery* America changed into the Powerball Lottery in 1992.

### Powerball States Since 1992

Since Powerball changed its name in 1992, a whole new wave of states have joined the game. Many joined only in 2010, when a deal between the groups who run the Powerball and Megamillions lotteries came to an agreement to join forces (though this might prove temporary, or a complete merger might come about).

• Arizona Powerball (1994)
• Nebraska Power Ball (1994)
• Connecticut Power Ball (1995)
• New Hampshire Power Ball (1995)
• Louisiana Power Ball (1995)
• New Mexico Power Ball (1996)
• Colorado Power Ball (2001)
• Pennsylvania Power Ball (2002)
• South Carolina Powerball (2002)
• Virgin Islands Powerball (2002)
• Vermont Power Ball (2003)
• Maine Power Ball (2004)
• North Dakota Powerball (2004)
• Tennessee Power Ball (2004)
• Oklahoma Powerball (2006)
• North Carolina Powerball (2006)
• Arkanas Powerball (2009)
• Florida Powerball (2009)

### 2010 Powerball States

I mentioned earlier that there was an agreement between the Multi-State Lottery Association (Power Ball) and the Mega Millions consortium (Megamillions Lottery) agreed to sell lottery tickets in each others’ states. The two lotteries had long been viewed as competitors with their own turf, but they realized that people would buy a chance at a big lottery jackpot four nights a week, just as they would two nights a week. The states below came from the Megamillions states, but now sell Power Ball tickets. So if you live in those states, you can now get your own Power Ball numbers and start to compete for the big Powerball jackpot.

• Georgia Power Ball
• Illinois Power Ball
• Maryland Powerball
• Massachusettes Power Ball
• Michigan Power Ball
• New Jersey Powerball
• New York Powerball
• Ohio Power Ball
• Texas Powerball
• Virginia Powerball
• Washington Powerball

### Power Ball Winning Numbers

Big multi-state lotteries like Powerball capture the imagine of people, because if you can collect those six magical numbers, you’ll be rich for life (if you handle your business, of course). Choose your Power Ball numbers, buy your Powerball ticket, choose whether you want a lump sum payment or a bigger amount over a 30-year period, and then hope your Power Ball numbers make you one of the lucky few.

This is part of a series of posts we’re publishing about various lottery subjects. Other posts in this series include:

## How to Check Lottery Numbers

September 21st, 2010 |

Tips for Checking Lottery Results

Learn how to check lottery numbers in a variety of different ways, so you don’t ever have that dread feeling that you might have won the lottery, but forgot to check your ticket.

Wait long enough to confirm what the latest drawing was and you’ll eventually lose your lottery ticket, so check the results of the local Lotto drawings soon, then get rid of your losing tickets.

You can check your lottery winnings through watching the television broadcast, checking the official lottery websites, through online lotto sites which post all the results nationwide, or through any number of publications. You can even get the number of the lottery organization and make a phone call (though I would not suggest that method, of course).

How to Check Lottery Numbers Online

Find your state lottery’s website and use it as your resource for online lottery information. The lottery ticket you bought should have provide you with all the information you need. There’s usually going to be a web address for the official website of the lotto game. At the very least, you should be able to get the official name of the lottery organizers, so you should be able to Google that name and find the site you’re looking for.

Once you find the online lottery website you need, match your ticket to the name of the game or games you played. Find the results, which should be posted within minutes or hours of the drawing. You can use this same web page to check results for previous drawings in the same game category. These are usually posted for all games that year, if not for all raffles for that game type.

While you’re on the lottery website, you should be able to learn all kinds of interesting information about upcoming lottery games through this same outfit. Learn about the posted names of recent lottery winners, special lottery events in the coming weeks and months, and new lottery games you can look forward to.

Lottery Results Online

You can also go to a lottery website which tracks all the lottery games played throughout the world, such as “The Lotter“. While these results may not be comprehensive, given the popularity of lotteries on virtually every continent, you should be able to find all lottery information you are likely to want – especially if you live in the “western nations”.

For example, if you want to learn about U.S. lottery games recently, all you do is point and click on “North America”. This should provide you with a list of all lottery jurisdictions, either by state (or country) or lottery game, making it easy to search for what you’re looking for. You can also search by continent or country. Going to a site like this gives you an overview of all the global lottery games. Even if it’s not legal to play in many of these lotteries (outside your native country, that is), you can still see how the rest of the country plays the lottery, and what the jackpot amounts are.

USA Today – Checking Lottery Results

The USA Today has a nice Internet coverage of the nationwide lottery games. When you go to the USA Today Lottery Page, you can learn about the lottery results in places across the country (or world), such as the Florida Lootery, Hoosier Lottery, or SuperLotto Plus in California. You can also find out about multi-state lotteries like Powerful and Megamillions, as well as multi-country games like the Euro Millions.

For U.S. and Canadian lottery results, there’s a handy interactive map you can use to locate the lottery game results and jackpots in your local state, or the next state over. Just click on your state to get the results you’re searching for.

Multi-State Lottery Sites

If you’re playing in one of the big multi-state lottery games like Megamillions or Powerball, you can go to any one of 40 different state lottery websites to find the results of your contest. As of 2010, 40 different U.S. states participate in the Megamillions Lottery, so you can find the results on 80% of the state lottery sites.

You’ll notice that people can also find the Powerball results on the New Jersey website. I chose the New Jersey lotto web address not because it’s special in any way, but because it’s your standard state lottery assortment. You can find pretty much the same information on most other official state lottery websites, at least for the big multi-state drawings.

Another idea if you can’t find the web information you’re searching for is to navigate to one of these sites, find their “links” page, and see what they link to. Often, the state lottery websites link to many other lottery sites, which is a good sign those are legitimate information or game outfits.

Along the same lines, you can go to the official Megamillions site or the official Powerball site for similar data. Both are likely to have information specific to their games, but also lottery news from other lotto games around the world.

How Not to Check Lottery Numbers

Avoid certain websites when checking your lottery numbers, though. Some lottery information sites are just preposterous in their information. Take “Lottery Forecasts”, which presumes to make predictions about lottery results and upcoming trends in the lottery games. They offer articles like “Winning Lottery Strategy & Techniques”, “5 Tips to Win More at Any Lottery”, and “Do Rich People Play the Lottery?” (they say “yes”).

All of these are there to convince you to spend more money on lottery games, presumably through links on their website. The last thing you need is someone insulting your intelligence by claiming to have found a method to win the lottery. If they could do that, the last thing they would be doing is sharing that information online, so lottery officials could close those loopholes. Why would they be wasting their time giving away that information, instead of entering every lottery possible, and eventually retiring to their own personal island in the tropics?

Just a word of warning about what to avoid in the online lottery industry.

Checking Lottery Numbers

There are plenty of ways to check the lottery results. Most lotteries have a live broadcast you can watch. The aforementioned official websites usually post videos of these drawings. Also, newspapers in the local areas tend to post lottery results the next day in the paper, much like what the USA Today does nationally, but only for a limited area. There are so many ways to check lottery numbers that you should never go long without having the answers to your lottery questions.

## How to Win at Fantasy Football

July 20th, 2010 |

### Tips for Winning Your Fantasy Football League

Mastering how to win at fantasy football strategy requires a reassessment of talent and strategies every single season. Fantasy football continues to evolve, with a few of the old truisms not quite as true as they were even 5 years ago. Winning at fantasy football is about finding a few difference makers, then adding solid performers around them at every position throughout the season. While the fantasy football draft is the most important part of team building, what you do after the draft is often what separates your team from your rivals.

The best advice that we can give you about winning a league championship in a good fantasy football league is that it requires a commitment. It’s not as big of a commitment as some of the less active participants make it out to be, but you want to be plugged into the NFL news from at least late-July (if not year-around) until the last week of your fantasy playoffs. Beyond that, there are several aspects of fantasy football you want to focus on.

Play Daily Fantasy Football Contests for Real Money

• Draft Preparation
• Drafting a Solid Team
• Work the Waiver Wire
• Work the Trade Front

Draft Preparation

You want to be prepared for your fantasy football draft, which requires setting aside time to read online publications, keep an eye on the latest NFL injury updates, watching a little preseason, staying abreast of training camp news, and studying the depth charts the weekend of the draft. This should keep you up-to-date on the latest trends in the NFL and fantasy football.

Next, you want to put together your own fantasy football rankings list. You want a separate list for each starting position in your league: quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, defense, and even field goal kicker. Study expert predictions and projections, and look over a magazine or online cheat sheets to get an idea what other owners and experts think. You might mix in a few mock drafts and “average draft position” lists, for good measure.

You want the pulse of the fantasy football world before you make out your lists. This isn’t to impress in your mind what you should be thinking, as getting an idea of the relative value of players and letting you plan your strategy for where you want to draft certain players. You don’t want to draft a player 5 rounds too high that no one else would have wanted for a while. That’s a bad value, no matter how well the pick works.

Once you have analyzed the date, make out your own draft lists by position. Next, draw a line between the 1st, 2nd and 3rd tiers, so you have a quick reference where (in your mind) the talent level drops off. Generally, you want to draft from a tier only when it’s starting to thin out, unless it’s your strategy to draft two players from that position in that part of the draft.

Drafting a Solid Team

Drafting a solid team requires you to plan your draft strategy based on value, and not on reaches for players. Don’t draft Drew Brees with the 2nd pick of the draft, no matter how good you think he’s going to be. If you want Brees, trade down and take him later in the 1st, but get something out of that draft position. Better yet, don’t draft a quarterback in the first 4 or 5 rounds, and see whether that produces a better final roster. You might be starting Philip Rivers or Matt Schaub every week, instead of Brees, but you’ll also be starting Adrian Peterson or Chris Johnson, instead of Ronnie Brown.

That isn’t to say you should blindly draft marginal running backs high, but if you’re going to target high value non-runners high, target wide receivers.

I’ve written elsewhere that the gap in points production between the #1 quarterback in 2009 (Aaron Rodgers) and the #10 quarterback was 5 points-per-game, while the gap in points production between the #1 and #10 running back was over 9 points-per-game. The difference between the #1 and #10 wide receivers was roughly 7 ppg, while the difference in the #1 and #10 tight ends was roughly the same. It’s great to have that high-scoring QB on your team, but it’s a deeper position and less of a difference maker in fantasy football than running backs and wide receivers, and even tight ends (whom you get much lower).

Draft for value, then. Try to select players just before they go off the board, not rounds before anyone else would want them. It’s one thing to draft them a half-round higher than projected, if you’re afraid someone you think is going to break out or be a sleeper is going to be drafted before you draft again. Good fantasy owners do that all the time. Target the guys you want, but that’s why you look at all those projections, mock drafts, and ADP lists, so you have a feel for when a player is about to go off the board.

Work the Waiver Wire

Once the draft is over, hopefully you have a solid roster to work with. If you don’t, your season is probably over. But even if you have a great team, almost all fantasy rosters could use some improvement.

Think about it. If an NFL team drafts 7 players and 3 of them turn into productive starters (eventually), that’s considered a good draft. Less than half of the guys pan out, even for teams that scout players 365 days a year. So it’s highly unlikely that you’re going to hit on all 16, 18 or 20 draft picks you make.

That means you’ll need to add talent after the draft, and your best bet is to scour the free agent lists for guys who slipped between the cracks at the fantasy draft. Remember, not every NFL players is going to end up on fantasy rosters in your league, so the fantasy football waiver wire is a lot more useful than the in-season NFL waiver wire.

If you are aggressive to start the season and you have a little luck, you can add a couple of mix-in starters to your roster. You might get a breakout receiver that helps your playoff push. If a star running back or quarterback goes out for the year, you might add a free agent who is just as good as high round fantasy draft picks. You might think all the backup RBs got snatched up at the draft, but running back depth charts can be hard-to-predict in the NFL.

Most of these players won’t pan out. You’ll add a few one-week wonders along the way. If you realize that’s the case, it’s time to drop that player and add a new free agent. Keep trying. No matter how good your starters are or how much depth you have, you should be improving your roster by small increments all year. With the violence of the NFL, there’s never any telling when you need that depth. And if you don’t need it, you can package those extra players in a trade proposal for that extra star you want.

Work the Trade Front

Which brings me to fantasy football trades. This can be the most frustrating part of fantasy football, because most trade proposals turn into nothing. Owners tend to overrate their own players, which means they aren’t going to think as much about your players as you do. Many are paranoid that you know something they don’t about injuries or depth charts, especially if you’ve won a lot in your league. Some are afraid of trading a player who breaks out and helps someone else win a title, for fear they’ll look foolish. So trades are hard to make happen in certain fantasy leagues.

Trades also cause the most controversy. Invariably, someone makes a trade that seems one-sided at the time. This can cause hard feelings and require tough decisions and tougher talk on the part of the commissioner. This can dampen trade talk, too, since no one wants to be the dunce who made the bad trade. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Make trade proposals throughout the season, based on the other team’s needs (as you see them). Put yourself in their shoes and see how a trade might help their chances, while still improving your team’s chances. Reply to trade proposals from other owners, and make counter-proposals when it seems a deal can be done. But most of the time, you want to take the initiative, so you set the trade agenda. This way, you don’t have to be the one paranoid your trade partner knows something you don’t know.

Often, a well-timed trade is what puts a fantasy team over the top in their league. If you’ve had a good draft with a few sleepers and breakout players, and you add a few productive free agents, you can built up a roster that makes it easier to make trades. Teams with the best depth are the ones who are most likely to be big players on the trade front, so work to build up your team’s roster at every step of the way.

Getting Lucky at Fantasy Football

Of course, having a little luck doesn’t hurt when you’re trying to win at fantasy football. One huge dose of luck is being lucky enough to avoid major injury in a sports as violent as pro football. An underrated part of most NFL Superbowl Champions is the relative health they have. The New Orleans Saints actually had the services of Reggie Bush, Marques Colston and Jeremy Shockey for the Superbowl, when all three players have had trouble finishing seasons in the past. (Just an example.)

Another piece of luck is having your players “go off” in the playoffs. You can dominate all season, have one bad week, and still come up short. I played in 5 leagues in 2009 and had the #1 point producing team in 3 of those 5 leagues, only to see two of those dominant teams get beat out in the playoffs by inferior teams. (Favre to Sidney Rice with :22 left against the Bears on Monday Night was the difference in one league. Argh.)

I shouldn’t complain, since I’ve had my share of lucky breaks throughout the years. I wanted to point out that not everything is under your control in fantasy football, though: your mission in fantasy football should be to make the playoffs (and get a bye, if that’s allowed). But once you get to the single-elimination round, anything can happen.

Winning at Fantasy Football Tips

So mastering how to win at fantasy football requires preseason preparation, good drafting strategy and execution, free agent additions, hard work in the trade market, and a fair measure of luck. Make it your goal in fantasy football to be a consistently winning team and a perennial contender. Set yourself up to win the big game enough times, and it’s bound to pay off.

Play Fantasy Football Contests for Real Money Here

For more information related to how to win at fantasy football, see some of the following pages:

## How to Manage a Fantasy Football League

July 19th, 2010 |

### Fantasy Football Commissioner Tips

Knowing how to a manage a fantasy football league lets your time as fantasy football commissioner run smoothly, and helps the team owners have a good time with the game. Managing a fantasy football league isn’t hard, if you have a good mix of league members and you take care of your own business. Like an sports umpire or referee, if you do your job right, the competitors should hardly notice you’re there. Run a fair game, while at the same time appearing to run to fair game, and everything should run like the proverbial well-oiled machine.

Play Fantasy Football for Money – Daily Contests

Below are tips for fantasy football league management.

Eliminate Problems Beforehand

Manage problems before they become problems. Anticipate the various sorts of trouble that might arise, then eliminate those trouble points when you can. Write a logical and comprehensive set of rules, so there aren’t questions every week about some rule you hadn’t considered. Have a rulebook people can refer to, so you don’t have to ask league members to “take my word for it”. Below are rules you should have in place before the draft.

• Draft Rules
• Scoring System
• Waiver Wire Process
• Trade Rules
• Playoff Qualification
• What Happens in Case of Tie
• How New Rules are Enacted

Buy League Management Website

Most fantasy football leagues have their own league website online these days. Go to a fantasy football league management site like “My Fantasy League” and purchase a league, which tends to be somewhere between \$70 and \$90, depending on what time a year it is. You can buy a league homepage from big corporate names like CBS Sportsline for \$160 or \$170, but in the opinion of most fantasy football geeks, CBSSportsline offers an inferior product (for twice the price) that MFL does.

In either case, having a league site lets you communicate with league members before draft day, since you can send out league messages that reaches everyone’s email address. You can discuss any rule changes or clarifications, and otherwise coordinate on the draft and the season in general. Also, you can trash talk throughout the summer.

Recoup the money for the site by taking up a \$5 website fee from every team at the draft. This is in addition to the league entry fee. Add the two together and collect a lump sum from every owner. Don’t let anyone leave the draft without paying their money, or you’ll never see that money recouped. I don’t let one draft pick be made without a full accounting of league fees.

Managing a Fantasy Football Draft

Managing a fantasy football draft starts with the draft date, time and location. You want to settle on a draft date and announce it roughly two months before the draft, because everyone has to set aside time in the late summer for drafting. You want to have the schedule set before people fill their schedules with that final family excursion for the summer, school clothes shopping, or other fantasy football draft dates.

Find a good location for the fantasy draft, discussing it with the membership. Ideas include your living room, your basement, a private room in a local restaurant, a banquet hall, a church’s fellowship hall, the local civic club, or just about anywhere you can fit 10 to 15 grown men. You’ll probably want to have food and refreshments there, as well as tables, chairs, and room for a draft board. Consider the league membership and their likes, dislikes and habits, since you don’t want to bring 12-packs to a church.

Call everyone a couple of times before the draft, to make sure they’re still coming. Remember to call one week out from the draft, so you have a full week to fill a spot, if someone drops out.

Once everybody is on site, make sure the draft starts on time. If you need votes for rules, get everybody’s attention and get the vote over with. People are going to lounge around, if you don’t stay on the ball, so you want to keep things moving. Remember that at least one impatient wife is watching the clock at home, and remember that at least one league member “has plans for later”. So get the draft started on time, then keep a stopwatch to enforce the draft time rules. Generally speaking, you might allow 3-5 minutes per pick in the first round or two, 2 minutes per pick between rounds 3-10, and 1 minutes per pick in the final rounds of the draft. This tends to come out to 4 or 5 hours, anyway.

Again, remember to collect money.

Managing a Fantasy Football Regular Season

Now that the draft is over and the regular season starts, you’re main job is managing free agency, trades, and playoff brackets.

Fantasy Football Free Agency

Free agency is also called “Add/Drop” and the “Waiver Wire“. This is adding players who aren’t on team rosters to a roster, and dropping players to remain at the roster limit. As commissioner, this is an important aspect to keep the league running smoothly, because free agency is the most common way teams improve in the season.

One option is the waiver wire priority list, which usually gives priority to the teams with the worst record. Once a week, people put in their waiver wire claims and players are assigned, according to the waiver priority list. After this, add/drops are done on the first-come, first-served basis.

Another option is first-come, first-served free agency. This is the easiest for you, since you have nothing to transact. On the negative side, teams can and will drop valuable players, letting other teams get free upgrades, just for being online at the time the drop was made. This rule can be abused, since a failing team can arrange to drop a player, while a contender is online, allowing them the certain player upgrade for free. Leagues have “Can’t Drop Lists” to keep teams from dropping their star players, though this gets tricky, with injuries and bad performances.

Perhaps the best way to handle free agency is through the blind bid waiver wire. Everyone in the league is given an imaginary point pool they use to bid on players. Whoever has the highest bid wins the player. These bids are unseen by everyone else or “blind”, and the commissioner make the transaction at some appointed time in the week. This requires the most work on your behalf, but is the fairest, the most orderly, and the one that requires the most strategy.

Fantasy Football Trades

More league commissioners have lost support through fantasy football trades, than through any other issue. When a trade happens, teams are going to have a lot of opinions about whether it’s fair or not, or whether one side is profiting from the trade or not. When a contender is perceived to be getting a sweet deal in a trade, this often leads to hard feelings. The commissioner has to be on top of this aspect of the game more than any.

First off, the commissioner should avoid suspicious trades himself. If the commish makes bad trades that help his team, he’s on shaky ground trying to police others doing the same.

Second, make certain there are set rules in place to handle trade rules. One option is to have the commissioner review every trade for fairness or collusion. “Fairness” is a subjective area, while collusion requires you to call out two cheaters, without any real proof of their collusion. Some leagues prefer to vote on trades, or simply have unrestricted trades.

Other leagues select three random trade committee members to review all trades in the season. Others have the commissioner and two random trade committee members. Whatever you do, have it in the rule book in black and white what the rules are, then enforce these rules to the letter of the law. Consider a trade deadline to make sure losing teams don’t dump players to their friends.

Fantasy Football Playoffs

Once the fantasy playoffs arrive, you’ll need to set up a fantasy playoff bracket. Have rules in place to determine who plays whom (seeding), while also having a rule in place to handle ties. This should take no time to set up.

Once the playoffs are over, send out checks to the prize winners the Monday after the fantasy football championship. This efficiency will be noticed by the winners, who can use the money to buy the wife a gift for putting up with him throughout the football season, or help buy an extra Christmas present or two (since ff season tends to end in December).

Managing a Fantasy Football League

Learning how to manage a fantasy football league is as simple as that. Even if you are an exemplary fantasy league commissioner, there are going to be times where you get drawn into a controversy, or even when your integrity is called into question. That’s why I saw you need to be fair, but also “appear to be fair”, because you want the majority of the league owners backing you up when nonsense allegations are made. When you make a decision, it needs to be final, and the league membership should get on with the rest of the season. Handle your business and a commissioner shouldn’t “lose” his league.

Play Fantasy Football for Money – Daily Contests

For more information related to how to manage a fantasy football league, visit some of the following pages:

## Who Will Host the 2016 Summer Olympics?

September 2nd, 2009 |

Who will host the 2016 Summer Olympics?

The 2016 Summer Olympics, known officially as the Games of the XXXI Olympiad, are in the planning stages. Many cities initially lined up to make a bid at hosting the games but only four remain.

Initially, 26 cities expressed some kind of interest in playing host to the games. Below is a breakdown of some of those cities and how their bids fell apart:

Bangkok, Thailand expressed much enthusiasm for hosting an Olympiad after Thailand’s excellent performance in the 2004 Olympic Games — but Thailand officials decided that an application for the 2010 Youth Games would better suit their abilities. They then lost the bid for the Youth Games to Singapore.

San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico discussed making a joint bid for the 2016 games, but discussions fizzled. No future plans for Olympics bids have been discussed.

Cape Town and Durban, South Africa both expressed interest. It is unclear if those countries Olympic officials ended the bid or if the Olympic committee rejected their plans.

Delhi, India was all set to enter a full fledged bid, but in April of 2007 that country announced it would bid for the 2020 Summer Olympics instead, probably wanting more preparation time.

Dubai, of the United Arab Emirates, was also set to make a serious bid for the games, but decided against placing such a bid, preferring to focus on future Olympic games.

Fukuoka and Sapporo, Japan were eliminated by the Japanese Olympic Committe, with the intention of focusing their time and money on Tokyo’s bid.

Houston, Texas and Philadelphia were eliminated by the United States Olympic Committee in favor of three larger cities. San Francisco then withdrew its bid when that city lost its Olympic Stadium funding. Eventually, Los Angeles lost out to Chicago for the country’s bid.

Montreal and Toronto, Canada abandoned their plans for a bid for the Olympic Games in 2016 after Vancouver won the bid for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Toronto is still considering an application for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games or the 2024 Summer Olympics if the 2020 bid falls through.

The following four cities are the finalists for landing the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Chicago’s plan is to use 15 existing sports venues plus one new building (already drawn up and funded). In the meantime they would build six new permanent Olympic venues, such as the Olympic Stadium and swimming arena, which would later be scaled down for future use. The city is also planning to incorporate the use of nine temporary venues in their Olympic plans — venues that would be scrapped after the Olympics.

The International Olympic Committee said that Chicago’s financing proposal represents a serious risk for that city’s bid. The city of Chicago has set a \$750 million financial cap on the necessary guarantees to secure an Olympic games — that cap would cover any potential shortfalls in the Olympic organizing budget. It is still unclear what about that financial plan is risky for the potential Olympic bid, but their budget has been called “ambitious but achievable.” Chicago still has to generate nearly \$2 billion in revenue from sponsors before the time of the games.

Chicago’s bid puts a heavy financial burden on that city’s Olympic organizing committee to deliver the necessary infrastructure and “temporary venues”, although if any city can pull it off, its the city of the big shoulders.

On a positive note, the IOC praised Chicago’s “thorough planning and . . . full understanding of the complexity” of any Olympic plan. The IOC found their plan to place temporary arenas in public parks “unique” and praised the city for thinking outside the box. Unfortunately, on a negative note, the IOC says that relying on “temporary and scaled down venues”  will increase risks for that city’s ability to deliver a successful set of Olympic games.

The IOC also has doubts about Chicago’s public transportation — and the city’s ability to control the kind of traffic that the Olympics brings. The most dangerous area for congestion during a potential Olympics? The area around McCormick Place.

As for security during the games, the United States has stepped up to ensure the IOC that they would take “full financial and operational responsibility” for securing the city during the Olympics. The IOC warmed to this plan over time, but still want to see a clear description of exactly what this means for the city and the games.

Chicago’s bid isn’t as strong as it could be — for one thing, nearly 4 percent of the city’s population is “strongly opposed” to the games being hosted in the Second City. The IOC ranks Chicago’s bid as “third overall” out of the four remaining cities.

Madrid, Spain

Madrid can boast the strongest public backing in the IOC Olympic host polls, with a solid 84.9 percent of residents fully supporting that city’s bid and only around 2 percent strongly opposed. The citizens of Madrid seem excited by the notion of their city hosting the Olympic games. The IOC ranks Madrid’s bid for the Games as second overall.

However, the Madrid bid team has suffered somewhat after the IOC determined that city’s organizing committee did not fully understand the responsibilities a city has when planning an event as complex as the Summer Olympics.

Madrid’s Olympic concept is seriously compact and appears to be quite efficient for large crowds. A full 23 of the 33 planned venues are in place and two more venues are already being built. This is a city serious about its Olympic bid. The areas where Madrid’s Olympic construction are lacking — the Olympic Stadium itself as well as the venues for rowing, flat water canoeing and open water swimming.

All but two of their planned competition venues will be accessible by public transit, and are within 6.2 miles of the city’s center. The shooting venue is planned for an area just outside the 6 mile radius zone, while sailing is 224 miles away in Valencia. That city plans to build its own athletes village to cut down on travel needs.

According to the IOC, Madrid’s organizing committee is “confused” at best, and that Madrid’s management structure is weak. Weakness in management usually results in financial challenges for a host city, and the IOC doesn’t look too kindly on a city that can’t financially handle an Olympic bid.

The finances for Madrid’s bid are well structured, with several national, regional and city governments stepping up to provide what the IOC calls “strong” financial support. This funding would be in place to cover any potential shortfalls in the city’s organizing budget.

The city of Madrid has been praised for its plan for use of the buildings after the Games. The city of Madrid would fully own the athletes’ village after the Games, and the media center would be used for social programs and housing after the Games.

Two major problems that stand in the way of Madrid’s bid? The IOC thinks that Spanish anti-doping laws lack the stiffness necessary to comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency code. Calling this issue of “utmost importance” to Madrid’s bid,  the IOC made it clear that without some change to the anti doping laws, the bid would fall through.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio is in last place out of the four bids still on the table for the 2016 Games. Part of the problem for Rio de Janeiro is their lacking public support in the IOC polling date. A full 83 percent of residents do favor of the bid, but a rather hefty 4 percent of those polled are strongly opposed.

Like Madrid, the governments of Rio and Brazil have guaranteed the ability to finance the Olympic infrastructure costs and cover any obstacles in the organizing budget.

Rio’s venue plan would fit in well with their ongoing and expensive urban regeneration plans. Rio is working hard to revamp their infrastructure and public image, especially along the city’s waterways. This reconstruction is fully funded by the government of Brazil, to the tune of \$240 billion. The IOC has said that reconstruction in Rio de Janeiro will certainly accelerate the delivery of the Olympic Games, but that the city needs “careful management and monitoring” of their reconstruction projects.

Brazil will play host to the World Cup in soccer in 2014, and this will certainl speed up the delivery on much needed infrastructure in Rio de Janeiro, however, the idea of hosting the world’s two largest sports events inside of two years presents a serious challenge in terms of marketing and communications.

Rio faces a shortage of hotel accomodations for visitors both for the World Cup and for a potential Olympic Games. The city plans to build four villages and use six cruise ships to house people for the Games.

Public safety and crime levels in Brazil are a major concern, so Rio has spent time attempting to engage local communities in various social revamping and sports programs.

Overall, Rio doesn’t appear to have what it takes to secure an Olympic bid. High crime rates, difficult geography, and questions about Brazil’s ability to host two major sports events inside of 24 months will probably keep Brazil out of the running for the 2016 Games.

Tokyo, Japan

The frontrunner for the 2016 Games appears to be Tokyo, Japan — even though only 55 percent of that city’s residents support their bid for the Games, and as many as 8 percent of the population lists itself as “strongly opposed”.

There is plenty of praise and criticism for Tokyo’s bid, and the lines of thought on their bid follow the same themes as other cities — for instance, finances are secure but public support is pretty low.

The government of Tokyo has guaranteed the finances for the games and set aside a huge \$3.7 billion reserve fund. National and city governments have guaranteed to finance infrastructure changes the IOC deems necessary, and also to cover any potential shortfall in the organizing budget.

The bid aims to highlight the sucess of Tokyo’s hosting of the 1964 Summer Games. Tokyo’s plan is to create a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable’ Olympic project.

The IOC has high praise for Tokyo’s plan to minimize athlete’s travel times, calling Tokyo’s venue plan “very efficient”. All but the shooting events would take place within 5 miles of the city’s center. Unfortunately, the IOC sees a “lack of clarity” on Tokyo’s claims that most venues are ready right now. Some venues that Tokyo lists as “existing” are actually closer to the “need to be built” phase.

Tokyo also faces questions about their ability to control traffic, and in a country composed of tiny islands like Japan there is the usual concern about the size of land area available to develop the Olympic Village.

## What Is the Record for the Longest Craps Roll?

May 26th, 2009 |

What is the record for the longest craps roll?

At the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on the night of May 23rd, 2009, Patricia Demauro of Denville, New Jersey set a new record for the longest craps roll. Demauro rolled the dice for 4 hours and 18 minutes before her ridiculous string of consecutive rolls finally ended. Borgata Casino officials said that her roll beat the previous mark of 3 hours, 6 minutes set nearly 20 years ago at a Las Vegas casino.

Demauro bought into a craps game with \$100 at about 8 pm and quickly drew a large crowd of cheering supporters. When Demauro eventually “sevened out” about 12:30 am, she was given a champgne toast. Demauro had made it through 154 rolls of the dice without hitting a seven after the point.

“This was only my second time playing craps, so this was very exciting for me to be a part of history,” Demauro said in a television interview. The Borgata Casino would not disclose how much she won during her record setting stretch at the craps table, and it seems likely that they asked Demauro not to disclose this information either — when asked how much money she’d earned at the table that night, Demauro would only laugh and say “It was a very good night.”

Ms. Demauro’s roll lasted over four hours and beat not just the number of dice rolls, but eclipsed time length records. The previous time record belonged to Mr. Stanley Fujitake, whose record length of three hours and six minutes at the California Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas only involved about 118 “table decisions”. Ms. Demauro is now the new craps champ in terms of time and in terms of the total number of rolls before sevening out.

The previous record holder for number of rolls came in at 147, but lasted only two hours and 18 minutes. The great differences between time and number of rolls can be explained rather simply — both Fujitake and Demauro were rolling on 14 foot craps tables packed with players, most of them making Hardways bets and other less traditional bets that took a lot of time to pay out. The prior record holder in terms of number of rolls was playing with only 12 players at a 12 foot table, most of them ignoring the more dangerous bets, thus that record holder was able to get in many more rolls in a lot less time.

We don’t know much about the incredibly lucky Ms. Demauro, other than the fact that she was a true amateur, having only rolled the dice at a craps table once before.

The odds of a player hitting seven on any given single roll are naturally higher because there are more dice combinations that add up to seven than any other number. The dice combinations 1-6, 2-5, 3-4, 4-3, 5-2, or 6-1 will lead to a change of the dice. For Demauro to last over four hours and 154 rolls of the dice without hitting any of these six combinations after establishing the point is an almost unbelievable feat.

See also:

## 80 Fun Questions to Ask Friends

March 5th, 2009 |

I have offered the fun questions to ask friends to anyone who’s looking for something to talk about. I’ve categorized them into 8 different categories. Pick and choose the questions you like, and avoid the questions which might be too intimate or uncomfortable for you.

Fun Questions About Movies to Ask Friends

Everyone watches movies these days, so here are some fun questions to ask you friends about the movies.

1. What’s your favorite movie of all time and why?
2. What was the best movie you saw this last year and why?
3. Who’s your favorite director and why?
4. Do you like black and white movies? Why or why not?
5. Do you read movie reviews? If so, which reviewers do you enjoy? If not, why?
6. What’s the scariest movie you’ve ever seen? Do you like horror movies? Why or why not?
7. Who’s your favorite actor and why?
8. Do you cry at movies? If so, which movies make you cry?
9. What’s the funniest movie you’ve ever seen?
10. Would you rather see a movie at the theater or at home on DVD? Why?

Fun Questions to Ask Friends About TV

Even more people watch TV than go to the movies. So here are some fun questions to ask your friends about TV.

1. What’s your favorite TV show of all time and why?
2. How many hours a week do you spend watching TV?
3. What’s your favorite TV station and why?
4. What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up?
5. Who’s your favorite actor on television and why?
6. Would you rather watch a sitcom, a reality show, a police drama, a legal drama, or a medical drama? Or something else? Why?
7. Has a television show ever moved you to tears? If yes, which one and when?
8. Do you watch the news on TV? How often?
9. Have you ever been on TV?
10. If you were a character on a TV show, which one would you be?

Fun Questions to Ask Friends About Books

This one is a little tougher, because a lot of people don’t read books anymore (unfortunately). But here are 10 fun questions to ask friends about books anyway:

1. Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes?
2. Do you prefer to read fiction or nonfiction? Explain your choice.
3. If you could be a character in any novel you’ve ever read, who would you be and why?
4. Has reading a book ever made you cry? Which one and why?
5. How many books do you read each year?
6. Have you ever written (or started to write) a book?
7. Name one book you had to read but hated, and explain why you hated it.
8. If someone wrote a book about your life, what would they title it?
9. If you could pick a book you’ve read to make into a movie, which one would you choose?
10. What was your favorite book as a child and why?

10 Sexy Questions to Ask Your Friends

Depending on your relationship with your friends, you might or might not be comfortable asking them sexy questions. If so, just skip past this list of 10 sexy questions:

1. Have you ever been involved in a threesome? Would you consider doing so in the future?
2. At what age did you lose your virginity?
3. What’s your favorite sexual position?
4. What’s your favorite foreplay activity?
5. Have you ever faked an orgasm?
6. Have you ever had a one night stand?
7. Which 3 celebrities would you most like to have sex with?
8. What’s the kinkiest kind of sex you’ve ever had?
9. Do you own any sexy underwear? How often do you wear it?
10. How often do you have sex each week?

Fun Questions to Ask Friends About Money

Money is a less sensitive issues than sex with some people, but others might find it even more personal. Here are 10 lighthearted and fun questions about money you can ask a friend:

1. What would you do if you had a million dollars?
2. Are you a spender or a saver?
3. How much money do you save on a regular basis? (As a percentage of your income?)
4. Do you have a personal written budget?
5. When you go to a meal dutch, would you prefer to itemize the receipt or just split it in half?
6. When you’re on a date, do you think the man should pay or not?
7. What’s the most expensive gift you’ve ever given someone?
8. What’s the most expensive gift you’ve ever received from someone?
9. If someone offered you a million dollars for a night of sex, would you do it? Would it matter if the person were good looking or not?
10. Do you invest in the stock market? What kind of investing strategy do you use if you do?

Fun Questions to Ask Friends About Music

Almost everyone listens to music. Here are a few fun questions about music you can ask your friends:

1. What’s your favorite kind of music?
2. Who’s your favorite singer or band?
3. What’s your favorite album?
4. What’s your favorite song?
5. Do you like to sing karaoke?
6. Are you a good dancer?
7. Do you like musicals? (movies or theater)
8. Has a song ever made you cry?
9. If your life was a song, what would the title be?
10. If you could be a particular singer or musician, who would you be?

Fun Questions to Ask About Games

All of us played games of some kind growing up, and some of us still play games now. Here are some fun questions on the subject:

1. What was your favorite game to play as a child?
2. Do you play video games now?
3. What’s your favorite gambling game?
4. Do you prefer card games or board games?
5. Do you ever play drinking games?
6. Are you good at Chess?
7. Have you ever played Dungeons & Dragons? Did you like it/
8. Do you ever play solitaire when you’re bored?
9. Are you good at Trivial Pursuit?
10. Have you ever been on a game show? Which one?

Dilemmas

Dilemmas are questions you have to think about. Thinking aloud about your answers with your friends can be a lot of fun, and it can shed a lot of light on why your friends are the way they are.

1. Would you rather be rich or healthy?
2. Would you rather be good looking or rich?
3. Do you believe in the death penalty? Why or why not?
4. Have you seen Sophie’s Choice, and if so, do you think she made the right choice or the wrong choice?
5. Would you like to know the day you’re going to die ahead of time? Why or why not?
6. Would you rather have super strength or super intelligence?
7. Would you rather have the power to be invisible or the power to read minds?
8. Would you rather spend the rest of your life without a significant other, or would you rather have a partner who is extremely difficult?
9. Would you rather spend life in prison or be executed?
10. Should marijuana be legalized? Why or why not?

And that’s that. 80 fun questions to ask friends. Hope these break the ice at your next party or first date. For more creative questions we recommend the The Complete Book of Questions: 1001 Conversation Starters for Any Occasion book.

See also:

Related: