Mega millions furor
THUMBS DOWN: A lot of people spent a lot of money last week for the privilege of dreaming about wealth and riches during the MegaMillions jackpot furor. About $1.5 billion was spent on tickets as the lottery jackpot rose to $640 million.
Dreaming was about all most people could expect, with odds hitting the jackpot standing at one in 176 million. Still, three lucky tickets were sold and the riches will be divided among them.
One sobering thought came out of that madness last week, however. The federal government spends money at a rate of about $6.75 million per minute. That means that if the federal government had won the jackpot, a sum beyond the wildest dreams of most individuals, the money would last about an hour and a half.
Something to think about.
A heck of a tip
THUMBS UP: The feel-good news story of the week has to be the Moorhead waitress who collected a generous tip this week - $12,000 in cash.
Stacy Knutson, whose family has been struggling with medical costs, received the big tip last November when a customer left a take-out box on her table. Knutson ran after her to give her the box, but the woman said, "No, I am good, you keep it." Knutson went back into the restaurant, opened the box and found $12,000 all rolled up in rubber bands.
She reported it to police, who told her she could claim it in 90 days if no one claimed it, but then police decided it had to be drug money, and tried to keep it.
Knutson filed suit to collect the money, and after being pummelled by public outrage, Moorhead police finally released the money this week to Knutson, who can really use it. Good for her.
Levee is needed
THUMBS UP: The New Ulm City Council heard some criticism about the method of assessing costs for the levee the city plans to build along the Minnesota River. But there's no doubt that the levee is needed, and will be worth the cost of building it.
Like any major project of this kind, the task of assessing costs to affected property owners based on benefits to the property can be tricky. Trying to figure out how much each property benefits depends on a lot of factors, like distance from the river, elevation, and what kind of buildings are affected.
We expect the city will listen to the complaints of property owners and make adjustments to make the assessments fair, but we also expect that there will be somebody who feels they are paying too much.
Regardless of the outcome, we're sure the knowledge that the levee is standing between the river and the property owner's house is, as the ad says, "priceless."