Here are some of our pool participants. Some are recent photos, some are not. The photo display is always Under Construction.
We are a slowly-changing group of about a hundred people who, since 2007, have been pooling our money to play the multistate Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries. Nobody profits from the pool except the participants—every dollar contributed is used to buy a lottery ticket, and every dollar won is either plowed back into the pool, used to pay our expenses, or distributed among the participants. See below for an overview of how it all works.
The majority of our participants are members of The USS Rankin Association, but we DO seek and welcome others. If you want to play, you can join at any time and get full value for your contribution — all your money will be used to buy tickets. If it's too late for the current pool, we'll enroll you in the next one. Just send a $25 check or money order to:
USS Rankin Lottery Pool
c/o Skip Sander
153 Mayer Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Be sure to include your email address and telephone number, so we can let you know if we win something big. Make checks payable to USS Rankin Lottery Pool. If you want to be part of a supplementary pool that kicks in when cash jackpots are over $100 million, include an extra $10. Please let us know if you have questions or comments.
How It Works
We accumulate all the contributions and use the money to buy lottery tickets. How many we buy depends on how much money we have. Typically, we have enough to buy 45 Mega Millions tickets and 26 PowerBall tickets for every drawing during the pool. If we have more money, we buy more tickets. If we have less, we buy fewer.
Each of our pools runs for three calendar months, with four separate drawings each week. A $25 contribution to the pool gets each participant 51 to 53 chances at a portion of a mulitmillion dollar jackpot, plus other smaller prizes.
Our affairs are conducted openly and in accordance with the Rules and Procedures elsewhere on this site. Winning numbers, the pool's winnings, news, etc. are listed publicly on this website and on Twitter at USSRankin. The numbers we play and the identities of our participants are shared among the participants, but are otherwise confidential. At the end of the pool, participants receive an accounting of money received, spent, and won.
Our hope is to win a large jackpot, though the chances of doing so are slim. We DO win something in every drawing, because we buy tickets with every possible Mega Ball and PowerBall number (at least 15 and 26 tickets, respectively). To enhance our chances when Jackpots are very large, we offer our players Big Jackpots, an optional separate pool that kicks in when Jackpots exceed $100 million cash value.
We've been playing continuously since 2007, and by the start of this Pool we had participated in 1,534 consecutive Powerball and Mega Millions drawings. We've won money in every one of them. Usually it wasn't very much — $4 to $6 in a typical recent drawing. The most we ever won in a single drawing was $169; the most we ever won in an entire pool was $469. Some lucky people did quite a bit better during that time: jackpot winners collected over $14 billion in cash; the biggest of those 166 cash Jackpots was $930 million.
We use a sophisticated Excel workbook to keep track of participants, contributions, tickets purchased, winnings, etc. After each drawing, it takes less than five minutes to report the results on Twitter and this website, though the reporting is often delayed until the morning after the drawing (or longer if I am out of town). At least one pool participant outside my household double checks Excel by manually comparing our tickets to each drawing's winning numbers.
Louis "Skip" Sander