Even with tonight’s Powerball jackpot worth around $1.5 billion, it’s tough to justify buying a $2 ticket with 1-in-292 million odds of winning.
But what if you could enter 50 Powerball tickets for free?
1.5billion.co is a “social experiment’’ started by event listings website The Boston Calendar and social media maven Only In Boston. The site shows 50 different Powerball tickets purchased by the owners of 1.5billion.co, and if any of the tickets match the winning numbers drawn at 10:59 p.m. tonight, anyone who has entered their email prior to the drawing gets a split of the prize.
Boston Calendar founder Sean O’Connor told Boston.com that they are not going to use the emails gathered from the site for marketing purposes.
“This is a fun social experiment, not a way to get people’s emails,’’ O’Connor said. “First of all, a lot of the emails are coming in from nationwide, which isn’t our audience. Secondly, many people are using junk emails, the ones they use just to sign up for random contests.’’
“Adding a list of emails like this to the Boston Calendar wouldn’t make much sense for us or them,’’ O’Connor continued. “And we’d probably get a lot of hate mail. It’s not worth it.’’
When the site launched less than 24 hours ago, it only had 11 entrants, meaning each potential winner stood to land $136 million before taxes.
Now, almost 16,000 people have added their email address, leaving each entrant with around $94,000 before taxes if the numbers win.
O’Connor said the site, which they set up in a day, was a learning experience for the two companies in what kind of content goes viral.
“It turns out the site isn’t very shareable, because anyone entering doesn’t want to share it with someone else because it brings your potential winnings down,’’ O’Connor said. “We didn’t think about that.’’
In the grand scheme of things, 50 chances out of 292 million are still miniscule odds. But they’re better than nothing.