Here are some of our pool participants. Some are recent photos, some are not. The photo display is always Under Construction.
We are a 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.
About half of our participants served on the USS Rankin (AKA-103), but we welcome others if we have room for them. To inquire about joining our pool, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Skip Sander at (412) 367-1376.
How the Pool Works
Our pool collects $25 each calendar quarter from each participant, and uses every penny to buy tickets in the Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries. The number of tickets we buy depends on how much money we collect. Ideally, we have 108 participants, giving us enough money to buy 25 tickets for every drawing during the quarter, or about 1,300 tickets in all. We select our numbers so we win something in every drawing.
Our goal is to win a Jackpot and to share the winnings among our players. A secondary goal is to win a few dollars in every drawing, to pay the expenses of running the pool. In a recent pool each player's after-tax share of an average Jackpot would have been $600,000 (the range was $175,000 to $1,300,000). Those may or may not be life-changing amounts of money, but they surely are very nice paydays.
The odds of winning a Jackpot are tiny, but eventually somebody wins. Our players mostly play for the fun and excitement of it, with the remote hope of winning a Jackpot. Because we hope to win a Jackpot, we have extensive rules and procedures to protect us all if that should ever happen.
We've been playing continuously since 2007, and by the start of Pool 41 we had participated in 1,534 consecutive Powerball and Mega Millions drawings. We won money in every one of them. Usually it wasn't very much — $2 to $4 in typical recent drawings. The most we've ever won in a single drawing is $169; the most we've ever won in an entire pool is $469. Some lucky people did quite a bit better during that time: jackpot winners collected over $17 billion in cash; the biggest of those 166 cash Jackpots was $930 million.
Our operations are totally honest and transparent. We notify players by email when their money is received. Early in the pool, we send each player contact information for all the other players and a list of the numbers we will be playing. After each pool, we send each player an accounting of all money received, spent, and won.
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.
Louis "Skip" Sander