The multi-state lotteries now have a combined jackpot of over 1 billion dollars. Yes, that’s Billion with a capital “B”.
With the Mega Millions jackpot at 625 million dollars and Powerball at 550 million dollars, the prize money is real. The odds of actually winning however are not ever in your favor.
The odds of hitting all 5 numbers and the Mega Millions number to be able to bring home the estimated cash value of $458,800,000 of the Mega Millions lump sum winnings are 1 in 302,575,350. The odds of winning the full jackpot in Powerball are a slightly better 1 in 292,201,338. As Han Solo would say, “Never tell me the odds!” But seriously you are more likely to kiss an actual Wookiee than win one of these jackpots.
One of the 2 winning tickets for the December 17th Megamillions drawing was sold at Jennifer’s Gift Shop in San Jose. The estimated annuity value of that winning ticket is 318 million dollars. Though it is mega random and the odds are truly against winning, eventually someone hits the right numbers. The jackpot that had reached $636 million has now reset to $15 million. The main megamillions site had briefly showed that next Friday’s jackpot had reached $950 million, nearing the billion dollar mark for a single lottery jackpot. But for now your just going to have to start your own company and hope your IPO goes well if you want to have a chance at a billion dollar jackpot. The other 318 million dollar winning ticket was sold in Atlanta, Georgia. That’s going to buy a lot of peaches.
Sadly, as of November 14th 2012, Airship Ventures ceased operations. No more will their giant airship Eureka be seen floating over SiliconCali and the Bay Area.
Due to the nature of Zeppelin travel, a slow moving airship with a large cross section that gets pushed around by the wind, weather conditions can cancel a planned trip at any time. This probably didn’t help the profitability of the company as people that book flights don’t realize the fickle nature of lighter than air vessels. And they never managed to secure a full time financial sponsor.
Airship Ventures press release:
AIRSHIP VENTURES CEASES OPERATIONS
Airship Ventures Ceases Operations
Lacking Sponsorship, World’s Largest Passenger Airship Grounded as of Today
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif., November 14, 2012 – Airship Ventures, operators of the world’s largest passenger airship, the Zeppelin Eureka, have announced today that despite history-making successes and a stellar performance and safety record, they will be ceasing operations immediately.
“Operating this unique aircraft has been an inspiring experience and it is with a very heavy heart that we’ve come to this point requiring us to cease operations and ground Eureka,” commented Airship Ventures CEO Brian Hall. “Our team is the best at what they do and their dedication to Eureka, our passengers and our dream of flying a Zeppelin in the USA has been remarkable. I’m beyond sad to disband their talents and leave Moffett Field, our friends and fans without an active airship.”
Blending the romance of the “golden age of aviation” with the latest in high-technology, Airship Ventures, founded in 2007, brought a Zeppelin NT (“New Technology”) airship to the USA for flightseeing, science missions, media and advertising operations.
Passenger flights began in 2008 in the Bay Area (Silicon Valley, Oakland and San Francisco) and Long Beach, and most recently expanded to California’s beautiful wine country. 2012 saw the addition of behind-the-scenes educational ground tours of the airship. In addition to passenger flights and advertising, the Eureka had performed a wide variety of special missions for government, science and research groups, including recent expansion into airship design, research and development.
Since its founding, the company had faced challenges including the economic recession that impacted regular passenger numbers and demanded the need for a regular sponsorship partner for the company to remain viable. Adding to this, a world helium shortage increased the company’s operating costs and pressure for a long-term sponsor that had not materialized.
However, even in the face of these challenges, Airship Ventures marked more than a few distinguished milestones:
• Created the first large scale passenger airship operation in the US since the 1930s.
• Welcomed the 20,000th passenger during a flightseeing tour over San Francisco in 2012.
• Celebrated four years of passenger operations in 2012.
• Completed a history-making, six-month coast to coast cross country tour in 2011.
• Covered 459.3 miles and broke the standing Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) airship distance record in 2010.
• Provided aerial coverage for the Rose Bowl Game, ESPN’s College Game Day, the Farmer’s Insurance Open, Zurich Classic, US Open of Surfing, Dew Tour, and Red Bull Flugtag
• Partnered with NASA and SETI on meteorite seeking missions over Sacramento and Sonoma, California, and with SETI on the study of extremophiles in the bay area salt ponds.
• Acted as a training vessel for the U.S. Air Force’s test pilots.
• Hired and trained both the first female Zeppelin pilot and first American female Zeppelin pilot
• Certified and demonstrated the use of Raymarine Radar and FLIR Systems infrared systems for use in the roles of Maritime Patrol and Search and Rescue with the airship.
• Did the first skydive over downtown Los Angeles from an airship in support of a major media event, and the first wingsuit jump from an airship over downtown San Francisco during a major technology conference
• Launched a social media campaign displaying the world’s largest Twitter hashtag as a decal on the airship.
Though the scenario was likely faked for entertainment value, Top Gear’s infamous flying caravan zeppelin troubles demonstrate the problems with trying to fly in a particular direction in a lighter than air craft. And it was built from a hot air balloon, so technically it wasn’t a zeppelin.
On September 15th, California won another battle to do with your money as the state pleases. All Amazon.com orders being shipped to California will collect sales tax.
The State Government of California should remember that Silicon Valley Innovation is still going on despite the horrible business environment that California presents. If this practice of endless taxation keeps up, there will be no more innovation occurring in the state of California.
If the state continues in this direction towards higher and higher taxes collected from those that do business here, eventually there will only be empty decaying business offices and National Parks full of homeless people left to occupy California.