I have in my grubby little hands a slip of paper that could grant your favorite charitable organization $100.
Last night, I did the somewhat unthinkable (or at least, unreasonable) for a self-avowed skeptic: I bought a Powerball ticket. I lost, of course, as do the vast, vast majority of people who buy these tickets. It isn’t a good investment of even one measly greenback — but hey, it’s a vice.
And speaking of vices, I also realize I drink too much coffee. I’m going to try to quit — or at least drastically cut back — and I reckon I’d easily spend at leat $100 over a given four months for coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
Still, my loss is your gain — provided you have actual psychic powers. For this month only, if you can guess all six numbers — originally chosen by the Powerball machine — I will give your favorite charity $100. If nobody successfully guesses, I’ll donate the money to the James Randi Educational Foundation.
Here’s how Powerball works, from their site:
Powerball® is a combined large jackpot game and a cash game. Every Wednesday and Saturday night at 10:59 p.m. Eastern Time, we draw five white balls out of a drum with 59 balls and one red ball out of a drum with 39 red balls.
I’ve been told that many psychics refrain from playing the lottery as it would be a crass abuse of their powers. Fortunately for you, I have a guilt-free method with which you can demonstrate your powers and be assured that a deserving charity gets the full total of the award in your name. In the very least, you’ll be able to keep that Randi guy from getting another benjamin.
I’m sorry that it couldn’t be more, but if I were rich — or good with money — I wouldn’t be buying lottery tickets.
Here are the rules:
1) You have until 11:59 PM (Eastern Time) on October 31, 2009 to post your guess of six Powerball numbers to this blog entry.
2) You must provide your e-mail address. One guess per person. (I’ll check IPs/emails).
3) You must indicate a 501(c)(3) charity in your post. Otherwise, I’ll donate it to JREF in your name.
4) The lottery ticket will be kept in my wallet. If my wallet becomes lost/stolen over this month, the contest will end. Void. Kaput.
5) Your sole hint: the Powerball ticket was purchased September 30, 2009
6) If, for some reason, I lose my main source of income this month, i.e., “my freakin’ job,” the psychic challenge will stand, but I will hold off on donating to JREF. Sorry Randi, Phil.
7) Payments will be made in four monthly installments, since this is coming out of my coffee money.
UPDATE (30 seconds later): A few quick edits for typos.
UPDATE 2 (1.5 hrs later, or so): Just to be clear, I am in no way affiliated with the James Randi Educational Fund. They neither sponsor nor sanction this brutal test of paranormal abilities.
UPDATE 3: Damn. I lost the ticket. It must have slipped out of my wallet. We’ll try again later. Skeptifail!