Tsū Social Network Kicks Off First POWERBALL Office Pool For Users (Updated)
Office pools for lottery drawings have been around for almost 100 years. According to a Wikipedia entry: 'the betting pools' concept was first introduced by Littlewoods, a retail and betting company in England (1923) and was developed initially for football matches. In its simplest format, the office pool formula followed suit. It is conducted at one's place of business where employees virtually pool their betting monies to improve their chances of winning a sizable cash prize. If and when a particular pool purchases a winning ticket, the group divides up the winnings in a prorated fashion, based on how much each donor contributed.
Betting pools are not always associated with sporting events, as there are those that are attached to various fields of interest including deaths and births.
In the case of the Powerball in the United States, this is an American lottery game offered by 44 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, opened to all citizenry. Drawings are held Wednesday and Saturday evenings at 10:59 PM, Eastern Standard Time.
Jumping into the Pool . . .
It's been said, there's only one thing worse than somebody in your office winning a lottery as huge as the Powerball, and that is if that someone was an member of an office pool that you failed to join.
Well, such might be the case with an office pool being conducted by one of social media’s latest darlings . . . the Tsu Social Network. For those living under a rock or avoiding social media altogether, this is the platform that pays its users for their original content. Of recent date, it was also the business model that not only shifted the existing networking paradigm, but was also enough of a competitive shock to the system, that Facebook chose to ban any mentions of Tsu on its network for over two months (but that's another story).
With the Powerball now up to $1.586 billion, it's human nature, that folks are now looking for ways to increase their chances at winning by pooling their resources with others. While the winnings are less proportionately, the odds increase in one's favor to win.
Normally the typical Lotto player might make an extra trip to their local grocery store to purchase maybe five tickets on their own. But now by tapping into social media and its exponential number of followers, there is an opportunity to band together to increase the odds with tens of thousands of people internationally -- many of whom, individual players may never have met.
Individual cases of such social media office pools have been documented. Billie Jo Karger, a Texan has taken to Facebook to make this happen. As of this post, she has attracted over 1517 folks to join her pool. For the last Powerball drawing on January 10th she purchased nearly 700 tickets. Now for the January 13th Powerball, her goal is 1,000.
Social Network First
Tsu, on the other hand is the first social network to initiate an office pool condoned and administered by the network's staff itself. Headed up by founder Sebastian Sobczak, according to their official post, “Tsu employees decided to get creative and instead of us all pooling money to buy tickets and splitting the proceeds based on the amount each has contributed, we have decided to do something a little more fun - split our winnings with Tsu users who want to participate with us.”
To that end, a new account was established. Joining as the 4,764,676th member of Tsu, the @tsuOfficePool account can be followed by anyone that wants to join the network and consider entering the office pool.
The Rules of Play:
Any Tsu users can transfer any amount of funds to @tsuOfficePool and they will use that money to purchase tickets (subject to retailers' capacity). Each Powerball ticket costs $2 and they will round up to the nearest $2 amount to buy a number of tickets. If they purchase the winning ticket, they will split the winnings (after taxes) in a pro-rated fashion with each Tsu user who contributed to the pool.
Participants will have until 8pm EST (1am GMT) on January 13, 2016 to participate. Even if you transfer $0.01 and assuming they only buy $100 worth of tickets, users will receive $150,000 before taxes, assuming they have purchased the unique winning ticket. (Note: Tsu will have to take taxes out before any distribution.) The drawing is at 10:59pm EST on January 13, 2016. They will post a picture of the tickets on their account page, so everyone can check the numbers at the time of the drawing. Any transfer amounts not used will be refunded.
In regards to whether or not international users outside of the U.S. can join the pool, Sobczak responded: "the way it works is that Tsu buys the tickets . . . (and then) after taxes we can do whatever we want with the proceeds. - so we are doing it this way, creating an office pool with employees and users :-) . . . there are no rules to sending random people money, as long as taxes are paid."
As of this posting, the network has received over $1900 from users (or 1 in 250,000 now of winning), and we will keep you updated to final tallies and winnings as the results come in.
Think it's time for you to join Tsu?
Powerball Update (1/13/16): According to an ABC report, the winners of the world-record jackpot overcame odds of 1 in 292.2 million to land on the numbers drawn Wednesday night, 4-8-19-27-34 and Powerball 10. They can take the winnings in annual payments spread over decades or a smaller amount in a lump sum. Unfortunately the @TsuOfficePool was not among the winners.
To be split between 3 winners, The California ticket was sold at a 7-Eleven in Chino Hills, California, lottery spokesman Alex Traverso told The Associated Press. The winning ticket in Tennessee was sold in Munford, north of Memphis, according to a news release from lottery officials in that state. The winning Florida ticket was sold at a Publix in Melbourne Beach.
Tsu Update (1/19/16): Out of the $1900 worth of tickets purchased by Tsu users, there were several with individual winnning Powerball numbers. The combined total of those tickets produced $117 dollars in winnings. Since dividing that total amongst the participants would have been fractions of a penny, Tsu decided to roll those winnings over to the next major lottery selected for a TsuOfficePool and the network looks forward to conducting that type of campaign again in the future.