Winning and Losing: Day 34 & 35

My team didn’t win on Super Bowl Sunday, but that wasn’t the biggest controversy. In hindsight, I guess I should have seen something like this coming when it comes to my sister. I spent the day with my dad at his house as he threw a Super Bowl party for a bunch of his friends. As part of the Super Bowl party activities, there was a betting pool.

I rarely bet simply because I know the odds. This was a simple 100 space sheet with each space being worth $1. Ten people each put in $10 ($100 total) and wrote their name on ten spaces. Then numbers were randomly picked for the top and side rows which would be used to correspond with the score at the end of each quarter making the entire pool pure luck. $20 was to be awarded after the first quarter, $20 after the second quarter, $20 after the third quarter, and $40 dollars for the final score. While in most cases I would have declined, it really wouldn’t have been appropriate under the circumstances and so I put in $10. I figured I would simply have to accept it as payment for a lot of good fun and good food (hot wings, dips, shrimp tacos, veggies, and much more as appetizers, some great chili for the main meal).

Super Bowl appetizers

If all had gone as planned with the odds, there would have been absolutely no issue, and my sister would have accepted that I had poorly spent my $10 entry fee. However, I managed to beat the odds and ended up with the winning numbers at the end of the game:

winning football pool

Winning gave me $40, and a $30 profit for the day. My sister immediately insisted that this was ill-gotten money and cannot be added to my minimum wage challenge. She argues that those on minimum wage can’t afford to gamble, so I shouldn’t reap the benefits of gambling. Of course, in my opinion this is nothing but a lame attempt of her duty since there would have never been an issue had I lost (What is your opinion? Should I be able to keep this money?). While an extra $30 to spend in the challenge doesn’t sound like a lot, it would cover the total amount of money I spent so far on food, so I would be able to take great advantage of this if I can keep it.

Day 35

The morning after the Super Bowl was spent helping my dad clean up after the Super Bowl party, and then it was a travel day down south to visit mom (and get the car clutch checked out). While driving south, I usually only stop at the Golden Gate Bridge when the sky is blue. It was a rather overcast and foggy day, so I had no plans to stop, but when I arrived, the bridge looked almost ghost-like in the fog and I had to spend a little time admiring the scene:

Golden Gate Bridge fog

I didn’t end up getting down south in time to take the car in, so that is the plan tomorrow to see the what the damage might be. In the end, I was able to spend the last two days without spending any money, and actually making $30 on the football pool. Transportation costs (including the bridge toll) were covered as part of house sitting and there is no cost visiting Golden Gate national recreation area.

Today’s & Yesterday’s Spending

Food: $0.00
Car: $0.00
Housing: $0.00
Travel: $0.00
Health: $0.00
Misc: $0.00

Total: $0.00

Total Spending

Food: $27.89
Car: $0.00
Housing: $0.00
Travel: $0.00
Health: $485.00
Misc: $19.00

Total: $531.89

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15 Responses to Winning and Losing: Day 34 & 35

  1. people on minimum wage gamble. Some work in casinos, some buy lottery tickets. She needs to get with reality. I know people on minimum wage and they *do* gamble. The football pools weekly, basketball pools…

  2. Melanie Pierce says:

    If I were on minimum wage and *DID* un-wisely gamble my meager amount of money and subsequently WON, I would definitely KEEP my winnings. So realistically, it would seem you would keep it. However, I do not know if you were “allowed” in the terms of the agreement to “make” more than minimum wage whether by: winning bets, working overtime, applying coupon overages at the grocery store, Double-your-money-back rebates, finding money on the ground…. etc, etc, etc… I guess that’s the real question here. I know that you didn’t “allow” yourself to “keep” the full grocery store gift card that you received in January. Isn’t this a similar overage that would make your “income” higher than minimum wage? Are you *actually* living off a real minimum wage being earned this year… or is your real income totally un-related to the challenge of “out-go” that’s being tallied. Or is my question as confusing as I think it is?

  3. Samantha says:

    While I tend to agree with your sister, in this instance she is *very* wrong. Minimum wage earners *do* gamble. Weekly pools, scratch tickets, friendly poker games.

    Now, had you figured out a system of counting cards and returned from Vegas with several grand in winnings, I would call shenanagins. $30 net gain from a Superbowl pool is legit, and you should get to keep it.

  4. alexandria says:

    Agreed with the others. I am no big gambler, but would easily gamble $10 or $20 in my minimum wage days. Frankly, that group is more likely to gamble? I have not been invited out gambling as much with age and means. Gambling can be fairly low cost entertainment. I have never gambled more than $20? & I think lottery is a great example.

  5. LuckyRobin says:

    Really? And she kept a straight face while saying that? I see plenty of people at the grocery store paying for their food with food stamps and then heading over to the lotto machine to blow $10 on scratch tickets. That’s like saying people on minimum wage don’t buy cigarettes or beer because they can’t afford them, because yes, they find a way. If someone is inclined to gamble, minimum wage is not going to stop them. She’s just being a stinker (unless she really is that sheltered and naive, which I somehow doubt).

  6. colleen says:

    Either she does not watch TV or she is trying to trick you because the poor and lower income are the biggest groups to gamble. Just Google it…



    You get to keep the money.

  7. creditcardfree says:

    Yes, you get to keep the money. Just like the rest of us, if we get extra money in any form we get to keep it or spend it. I would say it would be okay to track this non income money this year. If your expenses go over the minimum wage then it would be good to know that you dip into those extra funds.

  8. JulieA says:

    Oh I have to agree with everybody else. It has been a long, long time since I was on minimum wage —- but I surely gambled in those days. I think that most of the studies show that a very high percentage of lottery revenue comes from those on lower wages.

    It’d be interesting to go and look at that.

  9. CB in the City says:

    What planet does your sister live on? Minimum wage earners tend to gamble frequently. It is their hope. It is their “financial planning.” I see them ALL the time. Lame attempt, lame attempt. The money is yours. You risked it and won.

  10. Jill says:

    I have to agree with the others that your sister is wrong in this situation. It’s the people that can least afford it that gamble with their money.

  11. Wendy says:

    I think people on minimum wage spend more money on lottery tickets than others do. I’ve seen statistics about that on the news.

  12. jeffrey says:

    The way I look at it is whether it is me taking on extra work to earn the money or it’s something that is a normal thing for anyone to do. That’s a good question — my thoughts are that anything that seemed reasonable (here my sister and I disagree quite a bit on what “reasonable” means) that wasn’t me trying to earn more than the minimum wage (gift cards for birthdays, etc seem reasonable for example) was acceptable. There definitely is some interpretation involved…

  13. cindy says:

    I agree with everyone else. Back when I was living on min wage, I was talked into a football pool for the Superbowl and ended up winning $50. You better believe I kept it 🙂

  14. Bobbi says:

    Oh please. It is yours fair and square. 😛

  15. Diane says:

    As far as I’m concerned, anything that a regular person earning minimum wage would do is fair game~ Most people would put in for a SuperBowl pool if they were at a party (I have, and I don’t gamble) even if they earn minimum wage. And they’d definitely keep the winnings! Sorry, Sis~

    And minimum wage earners get gifts and gift cards, which they use to stretch their budget, so that’s fair too. If I were earning minimum wage I’d be looking to do odd jobs to up my income a bit, mowing lawns or whatever. That’s how people survive on minimum wage jobs~! So I’m definitely more open with the rules than your sister is.

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