This Week in Charlotte Inanity: You Will Not Win the Lottery, Mass Panic Among Leaves, and Stephen Silas Becomes a Man

Friday already? Time to check in on the week's inanity, courtesy of Jeremy Markovich (@deftlyinane). —R.T.


The Mega Millions jackpot is up to $500 something million $640 million. You are not going to win it. I cannot stress this enough.

But let’s indulge for a second. What would you do with the money? “I’m going to Vegas and party it up pretty good,” lottery player Mike Ngo told WCNC.

Not gonna happen Mike.

“Oh man, we’re going on vacation,” said lottery ticket-buyer Reggie McNeil.  “A long vacation.”

No Reggie. You’re not.

Earlier this week, when the jackpot was a mere $300 something million, my co-workers got me to chip in a dollar. I’m not going to win, I said. I haven’t bought a lottery ticket in years. I am throwing that dollar away.

Oh no, they said, you don’t want to be the only guy at work who didn’t get in on the pool. That’s like saying you’ll really regret not buying that alien invasion insurance when our overlords from Alpha Centauri land their spaceship on your house.

It worked. I threw in a dollar.

Someone told me a while back that the lottery is a tax on people who have trouble with math. The odds are something like 1 in 176 million. Now’s the time when you start seeing cutesy comparisons to try and help you understand how much of a longshot you are. As in, you’re more likely to be struck by lightning while being eaten by a shark in the Death Star trash compactor.

(Also, note this CBS News article that explains what you should do if you win the jackpot. First, this article will be practical to an amazingly small number of people. Second, they should really file this away in the same section as their story on “What to do if you ever find yourself pinned under the giant animated foot from Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”)

People play their lucky numbers. They play their birthday. The number of their favorite baseball players. Their age. How lucky can those numbers be if they don’t actually win you the jackpot? After you play your kids’ birthdays in Mega Millions, are you going to tell them that, in reality, they are terrible luck charms? Kid, you inspire me every day. But financially, I might as well be buying up telegraph patents.

We’ve become so risk-averse lately that playing the lottery seems like an amazing opportunity for a return on such a small investment. We still think we can get an inside edge. We’ll buy multiple tickets, even though that doesn’t increase our odds by any useful amount. Look at it this way: Have you ever been to a horse racetrack, and there’s that guy in the corner, and he’s got the racing form, and his clothes are all wrinkled, and he hasn’t shaved in four days, and he smells like a moldy cigar, and he’s always betting the superfecta? That guy never wins. And neither do you. You’re just dressed better than that. I hope.

Get ready for the stories today. Get ready for more interviews with people in lines at Charlotte-area convenience stores, with cash in hand, talking about the first thing they’d do with the money. Do I pay off my mortgage first? Do I buy a Rolls Royce? Do I hire Beyonce for a private concert in my backyard? Tough call. Especially since you’re not going to win.

And to my co-workers, yeah. I’m good for a dollar.

Current Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan made $8.5 million last year. That’s, like, 8.5 million Mega Millions tickets!

Former Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis is just like you, insofar as he sold his house and it was worth much less than he paid for it.

Jerry Reese, the man who just filed his sixth lawsuit to keep the Charlotte Knights from moving to uptown Charlotte, told me once that he’s been to several Charlotte Knights games. He caught a foul ball once. He says he’d have to go incognito now. REALLY. (We also featured him in a comic last year, where he fended off drooling sports zombies by building a brick wall around Third Ward). 

Headline I can’t improve upon: Dear Terrorists, the Charlotte Police headquarters is painted beige (h/t Matt Comer)

Remember when it was fun to go to Ft. Myers?


Today, Stephen Silas, you are a man. I'm gonna let you work the cheap lathe that is the Charlotte Bobcats.

For $350,000, you could own this cube in Cotswold.

Charlotte’s BBB: Trust us, except when someone sends you emails that say they’re from us. Because it’s not us. Even though it says it’s from us. It’s not. It’s some other guy. Not us.

A business card can make all the difference. Ask Patrick Bateman.

Categories: The Buzz, Trade & Tryon