1. Hard Rock casino bans Ben Affleck for counting cards

    Let’s be honest: This is not the worst thing Ben Affleck has ever done. Remember Daredevil?


  2. Predicting all the NFL playoff winners, using a single metric:

    Which team’s mascot could beat the others in a fight.

    (BTW, we’re already 4 for 4 after Sunday…)

    Listen to all of The Week’s mini-podcasts here.


  3. Odds of death by vending machine: 1 in 112 million
    Odds of death by fireworks: 1 in 340,733
    Odds of winning the $500 million jackpot tonight: 1 in 176 million

    7 things that will kill you before you win the Powerball jackpot 

    (Source: theweek.com)


  4. Statistics from South Carolina highlight the lottery’s reliance on low earners: people in households earning under $40,000 made up 54 percent of frequent players, while constituting only 28 percent of the state’s population. Meanwhile, a PBS report earlier this year showed that, for America’s very poorest, the lottery is a heavy expenditure: Households that earn at most $13,000 a year spend 9 percent of their money on lottery tickets.
    — Natasha Lennard at Salon explains the lottery’s dark side

    (Source: theweek.com)