Posts Tagged 'Economy'

The Lottery Explained By Math

The Mega Millions jackpot is approaching record levels. At the time of this posting the jackpot is currently $636 million. I am currently involved in two lottery pools here at Churchill and would absolutely love to be instantly wealthy from sheer dumb luck. But even though I currently have a stake in about 100 sets of numbers, I’m well aware of the odds. Gizmodo has a good list of things that are more likely to happen than winning the grand prize tonight. Among the highlights are:

Houston Astros Winning the 2014 World Series: 200-to-1
Bowling a Perfect 300: 11,500-to-1
Dating a Supermodel: 88,000-to-1
Getting Struck by Lightning: 576,000-to-1
Being Canonized: 20,000,000-to-1

Business Insider also has a great article concerning the math behind the lottery. I won’t bore you with the various regression analyses but I’ll share some of their conclusions.

1. The takes are incredibly high if you take the lump-sum jackpot. All of it is taxed as earned income so just in federal income tax you’ll be paying 39.5 percent of your winnings straight to the federal government. Taking the money as a 30 year annuity will significantly reduce your tax burden if you win, as will moving to a state without an income tax.

2. According to their math it only makes sense to buy in when the jackpot exceeds $380 million.

3. Try to play in smaller state lotteries that don’t get much press. The odds of winning those are much higher (though still ridiculously low.)

Don’t spend too much money on lottery tickets though. For the most part you’re only buying a daydream and you can do that for free. Just remember putting $20 into a retirement vehicle like a 401(k) or IRA will yield you far more money in the future than hoping for the best with the Mega Millions.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com for more information.

There’s About $1 Billion Worth of Unredeemed Gift Cards in America

I never liked getting store gift cards as a present. The intent is certainly nice. The person giving it to you usually has no idea what you actually want and they’re giving you some money towards something you can get for yourself. This is what annoys me though. Many gift cards have expiration dates and restrict you to buying from a certain store. If that store has what you really want then that’s fine but what if it doesn’t? What do you do then? Gift cards are incredibly easy to re-gift and you could always sell it off on a site like Cardpool for some actual cash.

There are some people who absolutely love gift cards and those are the stores that sell them. Why is that? There is a good chance that a customer with a gift card will either spend more than the entire value of the gift card on their trip or they’ll spend less than the card’s value. Either way the store makes more money than if the customer was paying the total sticker price of their purchases. Also every year about one percent of the total balances on gift cards go unredeemed. Considering that about over $100 billion worth of gift cards are sold each year, that comes out to about $1 billion in pure profit retailers get every year. I’m not against businesses making money but I hate seeing stories of consumers wasting money. If you’re considering buying someone a gift card for Christmas this year, just give them some cold hard cash instead. It may seem a bit more impersonal but the recipient has way more options on what they can do with it and it will be more appreciated.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com for more information.

Video Games Have Surpassed Hollywood

For the past decade we have been in the middle of a sea change in how we get our entertainment. Gone are the days of the 1980s when television and movies are the heavy hitters in screen-based entertainment. As computer hardware has improved video games have become more and more entertaining and life-like. The other thing that’s come with that is cold hard cash. The biggest video game publishers now bring in tens of billions of dollars per year and they money the industry is making is now eclipsing Hollywood. I think that this infographic I found really drives this point home. Compared to a Hollywood movie, video games usually cost less to make, sell for much more money per unit, and entertain us for a much longer period of time.

To use a personal example, I watched all three Lord of the Rings movies in theaters, paid about $24 to see them, and was blown away on the journey they too me on for the roughly 10 hours those movies lasted. I paid $60 for Skyrim and spent about 250 hours of my life exploring that incredible fantasy-themed world and doing generally whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Guess which gave me far more for my money? The 21st century is upon us and more and more of us are now taking a more active role in our own entertainment. If you don’t believe that just follow the money.

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com for more information.

Ten Best Cities For Recent College Graduates

There are plenty of people who are fresh out of college today many of whom face a difficult job market. That being said, there are certain parts of the country where it is easier to be a fresh grad than others. Nerdwallet recently put together a list of what they feel are the top ten cities in America to be a recent college graduate. The factors that they consider are conventional measures like the availability of jobs in the local economy, the city’s population of people ages 18-24, the median rent for an apartment, the city’s walk score. They also consider more unusual measures like the number of bars per capita, the cost of a 12 inch pizza at Pizza Hut, and the price of a six-pack of Heineken. What follows is their top ten list:

10. San Francisco, CA
9. Chicago, IL
8. Austin, TX
7. Columbus, OH
6. Washington, DC
5. Philadelphia, PA
4. Baltimore, MD
3. Denver, CO
2. Seattle, WA
1. Boston, MA


The many sights of Boston

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com for more information.

10 Best Cities for Finding Employment

In need of a new job? Forbes.com has listed the 10 Best Cities for Employment. These cities were chosen by Adecco Staffing US, a Human Resources firm. They have the fullest employment, according to the Department of Labor, as well as internal data around job growth and demand. They then determined which areas in the US are the best for finding a job.

  1. Bethesda, MD
  2. Austin, TX
  3. Jacksonville, FL.
  4. Grand Rapids, MI
  5. Columbus, OH
  6. Seattle, WA.
  7. Phoenix, AZ
  8. New York, NY
  9. Richmond, VA
  10. Oklahoma City, OK

livable_cities_bethesda_maryland

Bethesda, MD

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com for more information

5 Housing Markets on the Way Up

MSN.com features a new list analyzed and compiled by Housing Predictor of 5 housing markets on the way up. With home prices continuing to fall, now could be the best time for you to snatch a great deal and make a profitable investment in one of these desirable markets. Projected to provide double-digit gains in the next 5 years, these areas are known to have growing job prospects and a stronger economic environment than other areas looked at in comparison. This list is certainly worth taking a look at if you are in the market to invest in a new home.

Here is a  look at the 5 that made the list:

  1. Miami, Florida
  2. San Francisco, California
  3. Los Altos, California
  4. Seattle, Washington
  5. Medford, Oregon

Churchill has short-term corporate housing available Nationwide. Please contact us at 866-255-0593 or National@FurnishedHousing.com for more information.

Photo courtesy of: MSN.com