USS Rankin Lottery Pool
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USS Rankin Lottery Pool #28
July 1, 2014 - September 30, 2014
We are a group of about a hundred people who pool our money to play the multistate Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries. Each pool runs for three 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. 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 modest expenses, or distributed among the participants.
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 35 tickets, respectively). To enhance our chances when Jackpots are very large, we also operate 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 1,065 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: 126 jackpot winners collected over $9.8 billion in cash; the biggest of all those cash jackpots was $462 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.
Our affairs are conducted openly and in accordance with the Rules and Procedures at the bottom of this page. Winning numbers, the pool's winnings, news, etc. are listed publicly below 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.
The majority of our participants are members of The USS Rankin Association, but we DO seek and admit 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 $25 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.  Make checks payable to USS Rankin Lottery Pool. Please let us know if you have questions or comments.

Louis "Skip" Sander
USSRankin@aol.com
The information below  provides details about the current  pool. It is usually updated within a few hours of each drawing. Information about pools from Pool #1 in November, 2007 to the start of this one, including our winnings and over $9 billion in Jackpots won by others, can be found HERE.

LOTTERY RESULTS MEGA MILLIONS AND POWERBALL  
Wk
Day
 Date
MM or PB
 Jackpot
Annuity Value*
Jackpot
Cash
Value*
Number of Shares
**
Cash Value of
1 Share After Taxes **
Number of Tickets Bought
Winning Numbers
(Powerball and Mega Ball in Red)
Our Pool's
Winnings
***
Our Pool's
Winnings To Date
***
1
Tue
07/01/14
MM
$15,000,000
$8,700,000
97
$58,000
45
9
22
38
47
49
15
$7.00
$7.00
Wed
07/02/14
PB
$90,000,000
$53,800,000
98
$356,000
35
8
18
45
53
58
35
$4.00
$11.00
Fri
07/04/14
MM
$20,000,000
$11,400,000
98
$75,000
45
16
33
39
58
69
2
$5.00
$16.00
Sat
07/05/14
PB
$101,000,000
$60,300,000
98
$399,000
35
24
34
36
57
58
11
$4.00
$20.00
2
Tue
07/08/14
MM
$25,000,000
$14,100,000
100
$91,000
45
14
25
27
48
49
9
$3.00
$23.00
Wed
07/09/14
PB
$122,000,000
$71,400,000
100
$464,000
35
9
25
42
55
57
14
$7.00
$30.00
Fri
07/11/14
MM
$32,000,000
$18,300,000
100
$118,000
45
9
13
30
35
69
10
$4.00
$34.00
Sat
07/12/14
PB
$40,000,000
$23,400,000
107
$142,000
35
2
3
7
23
51
26
$4.00
$38.00
3
Tue
07/15/14
MM
$41,000,000
$23,600,000
107
$143,000
45
2
4
17
36
40
5
$4.00
$42.00
Wed
07/16/14
PB
$50,000,000
$29,900,000
107
$181,000
35
5
15
18
26
32
35
$4.00
$46.00
Fri
07/18/14
MM
$50,000,000
$28,800,000
112
$167,000
45
5
8
59
65
72
3
$10.00
$56.00
Sat
07/19/14
PB
$60,000,000
$35,900,000
121
$192,000
35
10
17
25
45
53
9
$4.00
$60.00
4
Tue
07/22/14
MM
$58,000,000
$33,800,000
121
$181,000
45
14
18
22
31
47
15
$3.00
$63.00
Wed
07/23/14
PB
$40,000,000
$24,100,000
121
$129,000
35
Fri
07/25/14
MM
$67,000,000
$39,100,000
121
$210,000
45
Sat
07/26/14
PB
$50,000,000
$30,100,000
121
$161,000
35
5
Tue
07/29/14
MM
45
Wed
07/30/14
PB
35
Fri
08/01/14
MM
45
Sat
08/02/14
PB
35
6
Tue
08/05/14
MM
45
Wed
08/06/14
PB
35
Fri
08/08/14
MM
45
Sat
08/09/14
PB
35
7
Tue
08/12/14
MM
45
Wed
08/13/14
PB
35
Fri
08/15/14
MM
45
Sat
08/16/14
PB
35
8
Tue
08/19/14
MM
45
Wed
08/20/14
PB
35
Fri
08/22/14
MM
45
Sat
08/23/14
PB
35
9
Tue
08/26/14
MM
45
Wed
08/27/14
PB
35
Fri
08/29/14
MM
45
Sat
08/30/14
PB
35
10
Tue
09/02/14
MM
45
Wed
09/03/14
PB
35
Fri
09/05/14
MM
45
Sat
09/06/14
PB
35
11
Tue
09/09/14
MM
45
Wed
09/10/14
PB
35
Fri
09/12/14
MM
45
Sat
09/13/14
PB
35
12
Tue
09/16/14
MM
45
Wed
09/17/14
PB
35
Fri
09/19/14
MM
45
Sat
09/20/14
PB
35
13
Tue
09/23/14
MM
45
Wed
09/24/14
PB
35
Fri
09/26/14
MM
45
Sat
09/27/14
PB
35
14
Tue
09/30/14
MM
45
* Jackpot figures are estimates from lottery officials. Mega Millions annuities are paid out over 25 years, Powerball annuities over 30. Cash values are paid out immediately. Jackpots actually won are shown in gold.
** We need to sell 121 shares to buy a full complement of tickets without dipping into our reserves. If we don't have that many by the start of Week 3, we actively solicit additional players. "Cash Value of 1 Share After Taxes" is the estimated after tax winnings of each share if we take our winnings in cash, which almost all winners do. Taxes are estimated at 35%.
***  The amounts shown here are believed to be accurate, but are for informational purposes only. Actual winnings will be known when tickets are redeemed at the end of the pool, and will be reported to participants at that time.  

 
RULES AND PROCEDURES OF THE USS RANKIN LOTTERY POOL

CLICK HERE to see the Rules and Procedures for Big Jackpots, an optional separate pool that kicks in when Jackpots exceed $100 million cash value.

Revised 2/8/14 (Addition to 'Participants in the Pool', referring readers to existing exceptions in 'What if a Ticket Wins?')
Revised 1/1/14 (Historical Jackpot information)
By contributing to the USS Rankin Lottery Pool, participants agree that it will be conducted according to these rules and procedures. If you object to anything in here, please let Skip Sander know so he can try to address your concerns. If he can't, you agree that any unresolved disputes or disagreements will be settled forever by the return of your contribution to the pool, as described in 'Return of Contributions', below.
Not Part of The USS Rankin Association
This pool is NOT an activity of The USS Rankin Association. It is exclusively conducted by and for those contributing to the pool.
Purpose  of the Pool
The pool exists to play the multistate Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries, and occasionally possibly others. Every dollar contributed to the pool is used to buy lottery tickets. Nobody benefits financially from the pool except its participants. Winnings, if any, become the property of the pool, and are distributed among participants as described in 'What if a Ticket Wins?', below.
Skip Sander in Charge
The pool is conducted by Louis "Skip" Sander, of 153 Mayer Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15237, who endeavors to operate it in an honest, open, and transparent way, and who has done so since the start of Pool #1 in 2007. You can see Skip's LinkedIn profile HERE. Each pool participant agrees to abide by his decisions and to hold him harmless for any action or inaction in connection with their contributions, the pool, or its assets. Each pool participant further agrees that any and all disputes between him or her and Skip Sander, the pool, or other participants, will be settled forever and in full by the return of his or her contributions to the pool, as described in 'Return of Contributions' below. In spite of the above, participants and Skip Sander agree that any dispute involving more than ten participants and any prize in excess of $200,000 will be settled by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association.
Duration of the Pool
Pools run for three calendar months: JAN-MAR, APR-JUN, JUL-SEP, and OCT-DEC. Tickets are normally bought for every one of the drawings during that period: Mega Millions drawings on Tuesdays and Fridays, and Powerball drawings on Wednesdays and Saturdays. There are typically 52 drawings during a pool, but sometimes there are 51 or 53.
Chances of Winning a Prize
The chances of a Pool's winning a large prize are close to zero, as are the chances of smaller winnings covering the cost of their tickets. On the other hand, a lot of people have gotten hope, fun, and amusement by playing in these pools. Participants should join the pool for the latter reasons, and not with the expectation of winning money.
Historically, USS Rankin Lottery pools have won only about 11% of the amount spent on tickets, for a net loss of almost 90% of all the money contributed. Since Pool #1 in 2007, the biggest winnings in one drawing have been under $200. The biggest winnings during an entire pool have been under $500. You can think of these small amounts as 'cash back' for the amount we spend on tickets.
While we hope to win a Jackpot or other large prize, the mathematical chance of our doing so is very, very small, even if we buy hundreds of tickets. Nevertheless, SOMEBODY wins sooner or later, and during a typical recent pool, these two lotteries pay out over $500 million in cash Jackpots. Those we have participated in have paid out over $9 billion in cash Jackpots since the start of Pool #1 in 2007.  
The mathematical chance of winning a Mega Millions Jackpot is about one in 259 million. That of winning a Powerball Jackpot is about one in 146 million. In other words, the mathematical chance of winning a Jackpot is nearly zero. With 50 tickets, a pool's mathematical chance of winning a Jackpot increases to about one in three to five million. To put this in perspective, it is estimated that the mathematical chance of being struck by lightning is one in 700,000. Mathematically, you are about four to seven times as likely to be struck by lightning as a fifty-ticket pool is to win a Jackpot in any given drawing.
The mathematical chance of winning a prize other than the Jackpot is about 1 in 15 for Mega Millions or 1 in 32 for Powerball. If a ticket matches the Mega Ball, it wins at least $1. If it matches the Powerball, it wins at least $4. Because the pool tries to buy tickets covering all possible Mega Ball and Powerball numbers, it typically wins something in every drawing. That's a small amount compared to the cost of the tickets, but it CAN give participants the feeling of luck or success.
While it is interesting to consider mathematical chances of winning, mathematics says nothing at all about which ticket, person, or pool might win a Jackpot or any other prize. It calculates abstract chances without any consideration of luck, natural or supernatural activities favoring a given player or ticket, the possibility of humans being able to bring success by visualizing it, willing it, praying for it, or any similar thing.
With lightning, it is widely known that you can affect your chances of being struck by standing in one place or another during a thunderstorm, by holding an umbrella or golf club over your head, etc. With lotteries, it is not widely known how you can affect your chances of winning, but of course there are many theories, and there may be many ways. If you can help us win something big, please do.
Bank Accounts
The USS Rankin Lottery Pool has three accounts at the Perry Branch of Citizens Bank in Pittsburgh, for purposes as follows: 1) holding accumulated small winnings from past USS Rankin Lottery Pools, and paying the expenses of the pools, including buying additional tickets as described in 'Buying and Handling Tickets', below; 2) holding funds that apply to the next or current pool; and 3) holding funds that apply to future pools after that. Any pool participant can see the records of these accounts upon written request to Skip Sander.
Shares in the Pool
Participants contribute money to buy shares in the pool. Each $25 contributed entitles the participant to one share. In the event that the pool wins a prize of $10,000 or more, the winnings will be divided among the participants in proportion to the number of shares they own at the time of the winning drawing. Smaller winnings are put back into the pool. All this is done in accordance with 'What if a Ticket Wins?', below.
There are no fractional shares in the pool. Contributions of less than $25 and those over $25 that are not integral multiples of $25 (example: the extra $10 in a $60 contribution) will be handled at the sole discretion of Skip Sander.
These shares are not intended to be securities under the laws of Pennsylvania or any other jurisdiction. In the event that any part of these rules and procedures modifies or breaches that intent, such part is declared null and void, and the matters previously covered by that part will be handled at the sole discretion of Skip Sander.
Participants in the Pool
Participation is open to anyone, but Pennsylvania law limits lottery participation to those 18 years of age or older. A person becomes a participant in the pool when his or her contribution is deposited in the pool's bank account. If the pool wins a large prize before a participant's contribution has been deposited, that participant will NOT have a share in the winnings. There is, however, a grace period for those who have participated in the immediately previous pool. If their contribution has been received but not deposited at the time a large prize is won, they will be deemed to have owned one share at the time of the drawing, provided that their check or money order (not cash) is deposited within twelve hours of the time of the drawing. There are additional exceptions to this section for Skip Sander and The USS Rankin Association; see 'What if a Ticket Wins' for details.
Contributions are deemed to be deposited in the pool's bank account at the time Citizens Bank records the receipt of the deposit at a teller or ATM.
Contributions that have been deposited for participation in prior or future pools will NOT have a share in, or any other claim to, the winnings of the current pool, regardless of the past or present wishes, instructions or intent of the contributor.
Contributions will be deposited at times determined solely by Skip Sander, who will endeavor to deposit them before the next drawing after they are received. Participants agree to hold him harmless for any action or inaction involving the timely deposit of funds.
Each participant's claim to a portion of the pool's winnings is based solely on the number of shares he or she owns at the time the winning drawing occurs. No participant has any larger claim because some or all of his or her suggested numbers were used on one or more lottery tickets, or because he or she made a contribution in excess of an integral multiple of $25, or because his or her contribution was not deposited in a timely manner, or for any other reason.
Contributions to the Pool
Contributions to the pool should be $25 or a multiple thereof. Each $25 contributed entitles the participant to one share in the pool.
Payments can be made by check, cash, or money order. Checks should be made payable to USS Rankin Lottery Pool. They should clearly indicate the number of the pool they are intended for, and should be mailed to USS Rankin Lottery Pool, c/o Skip Sander, 153 Mayer Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15237. Please be sure we know your name, telephone number, postal address, and email address if you have one.
Money for new pools will be collected until the last mail delivery before the first drawing of the new pool, and will be deposited before that drawing. Contributions received after the first drawing will be handled at the sole discretion of Skip Sander. Typically, these contributions will be applied to shares in a pool, or returned to the contributor.
Contributions to the current pool can be made at any time before the pool's last drawing.
Contributions to future pools will be accepted at any time, and will be kept in a separate bank account established for the purpose of holding them. Such contributions must be clearly identified as to the pool or pools for which they are intended. In the event of confusion, misunderstanding, or dispute about any such contribution, the 'Skip Sander in Charge' section, above, will apply.
Contributions on behalf of other people will also be accepted. Such contributions must be clearly identified as to the person or persons for whom they are intended to be made. Please be sure we know their name, telephone number, postal address, and email address if they have one. In the event of confusion, misunderstanding, or dispute about any such contribution, the 'Skip Sander in Charge' section, above, will apply.  
Return of Contributions
A contribution to the pool, whether or not it has been deposited in the Pool's bank account, is deemed to be returned to the contributor when a check for the amount of the contribution is mailed to the contributor at his or her address on file with the Pool, by U. S. Postal Service Certified Mail. The date and time of the return are deemed to be the date and time that it is accepted by the U. S. Postal Service.
A contribution to the pool that is refused, rejected, or returned by the Pool's bank is deemed never to have been deposited, and is deemed to be returned to the contributor at the date and time of such refusal, rejection, or return.   
Choosing Numbers and Lotteries
The pool participates in the multistate Powerball and Mega Millions lotteries, and occasionally in others. Skip Sander will choose lotteries and numbers as he sees fit, possibly including "Quick Picks" by the lottery machine, or numbers suggested by participants. As much as is practical, the same numbers will be played for every drawing in a pool, except that additional tickets may sometimes be bought for individual drawings. As much as is practical, Skip Sander will keep all participants informed of the numbers being played in every drawing.  
Buying and Handling Tickets
Every dollar contributed to the pool will be used to buy tickets for the pool. These tickets will be bought in numbers and at times determined at the sole discretion of Skip Sander. To minimize complexity, confusion, and chance for error, he endeavors to buy tickets for all drawings at one time, though this is seldom fully possible.
When the Jackpot is large, or when there is a drawing for which the current pool does not have tickets, or for any other reason, Skip Sander may, at his sole discretion, buy one or more additional tickets for the pool, using money from its bank account.
Skip Sander endeavors to balance the numbers played, number of players, and number of tickets bought to insure that the pool at least "breaks even" over its life. A pool "breaks even" if the cost of buying its tickets is paid for by player contributions plus the winnings of the pool from all the drawings in its lifetime.
When a ticket is bought for the pool, Skip Sander marks its back with his signature and a rubber stamp of the USS Rankin Association's address, and its front with the number of the playslip it corresponds to. A sample appears at the bottom of this document.
From time to time Skip Sander also buys lottery tickets for himself and possibly other people or pools. Such tickets will NOT have the USS Rankin stamp or playslip number, and will be marked in a way to clearly differentiate them from tickets belonging to the USS Rankin Lottery Pool.
Participants agree to hold Skip Sander harmless for the loss or theft of their contributions or tickets bought for the pool. A pool's cash is only briefly exposed to loss or theft. Checks (and occasionally small amounts of cash) from participants are deposited into the Pool's bank account, either at a branch bank or an ATM. When tickets are to be bought, a cash withdrawal is made via a teller at a branch in or near a store that sells lottery tickets. The cash is immediately used to buy tickets at that store, usually less than 50 paces from the teller. The maximum amount of cash exposed to loss or theft at one time is about $2,000-$3,000, and it is exposed for only a short time.
Skip Sander puts all tickets into a safe soon after they are bought. Unless the pool wins a prize of $10,000 or more, the tickets stay in the safe until the pool is over, at which time they are redeemed. Winning tickets are surrendered to lottery representatives when they are redeemed. Unsurrendered tickets are kept in the safe for at least a year after the drawing to which they apply.
Informing the Participants
During the pool, Skip Sander will send each participant, by email, a downloadable list of all the participants, including their names and contact information; a downloadable list of all numbers being played; and a downloadable copy of these rules and procedures.
At the end of the pool, he will send each participant, by email, an accounting of money received, spent, and won during the pool.
Participants for whom the Pool does not have a valid email address can receive these notifications by postal mail, if they provide Skip Sander with a sufficient supply of self-addressed stamped #10 envelopes.
Skip Sander will also endeavor to keep participants informed by posting information on the Internet at www.ussrankin.org/lottery.htm and http://twitter.com/ussrankin, and by sending periodic emails to participants whose email addresses are known to him.
What if a ticket wins?
These lotteries offer several ways to win between $2 and $150. A pool typically wins $200-$400 of these prizes during its lifetime. If a ticket wins one or more of them, it will be held until the end of the pool, then redeemed. The winnings from all such tickets will be deposited into the pool's bank account, and ownership of the winnings will pass to the participants in the next USS Rankin Lottery Pool, if there is one, or otherwise to The USS Rankin Association.
There are also ways of winning $10,000 to $1,000,000 or a multimillion dollar Jackpot. If a ticket wins one of these prizes, the participants in the pool will be notified promptly, the ticket will be redeemed, and the winnings will be distributed among the participants in proportion to the number of shares they own at the time the winning drawing occurs. The costs of distributing the money will be deducted from the total amount distributed. Ten percent of the gross winnings will be retained for one year by the pool, to cover any unforeseen costs. At the end of that period, the remaining balance will be distributed to the participants.
Skip Sander likes to encourage the people who sell us tickets to wish us luck. He does so by promising them the car of their choice, within reason, if one of the tickets wins a Jackpot. Participants agree to contribute up to $1,000 per share toward that purpose.
If the pool wins a Jackpot, Skip Sander will hold the winning ticket until the following steps are completed:
Copies of checks for all deposits to the pool are retrieved from Citizens Bank, to confirm the identities of all players in the pool. The USS Rankin Association and Skip Sander normally purchase shares in every pool, but if either or both of them have not done so in this case, or if the records are unclear, or if there is any uncertainty about their participation in the pool, each of them will be deemed to own one share in the pool. In addition to this share and/or any shares bought in his name, Skip Sander will be deemed to own one additional share, in consideration of his services in organizing and operating the pool and all its predecessors.
Players are notified by telephone. Players not reachable by telephone are notified by Certified Mail.
The pool participants engage a qualified and experienced financial advisor agreeable to them all. The purpose of the financial advisor is to advise the group about taking the winnings in cash or in the annuity offered by the lottery, and to perform other tasks normally associated with financial advisors.
The pool participants engage a Certified Public Accountant agreeable to them all. The purpose of the CPA is to determine the amounts to be distributed, to distribute the money, to make necessary tax filings, and to perform other tasks normally associated with CPAs.
The pool participants engage an attorney agreeable to them all. The purpose of the attorney is to provide legal advice and to perform other tasks normally associated with attorneys.
In the event that the pool participants do not agree on a person or persons to fill the above roles within 30 days of receiving notification of their winning status, or in any event within 60 days of the drawing of the winning ticket, Skip Sander will engage the financial advisor, CPA, and attorney. His decisions on these matters will be final.
When the above steps have been completed, or before that, if in his judgment it is in the best interests of the winners, Skip Sander will release the winning ticket to the appropriate lottery officials.

Sample Lottery Ticket with Numbers from Playslip RN M2, Showing USS Rankin Lottery Pool Markings.

Sample reusable Playslips. They go into the machine that prints the tickets. We fill them out once, then use them again and again


Click Here for a Powerball Payout Worksheet