Tim was in a Magic tournament yesterday. The top four players had some very strange ideas about math.
At this tournament, the deal was that the winner would get to choose among envelopes holding at least $1,000 but up to $10,000. Very unheard of. The remaining three players would receive a total of $200 and 36 packs (packs go for $4).
So Tim was a little astounded to hear two of the four players debating whether they wanted to play the last two games or split the rest. Apparently, they were deciding whether they wanted to bother with taxes.
It was pretty much a sure thing that they’d be the top two. So, yeah, only one would get a shot at the envelopes. The other would get at least $50 and 8 packs. Worst case scenario, they’d come in third and fourth and get about $25 plus 4 packs.
Instead, they took the “sure thing” $50 and 9 packs. One of the other two volunteered — yes, volunteered — to be the winner and pick an envelope. And he still got the $50 and 9 packs that the other three got.
I think maybe these guys don’t get taxes. (Worrying, since one is trying to become a math teacher.) The would-be teacher doesn’t have a job. The other one works at a card shop. I doubt even $10,000 would push them into the 25% tax bracket, which starts past $34,500.
So we’re talking about a profit of at least $750. Maybe as much as $7,500. I’d say that was worth the “hassle” of sending in an early tax payment. Heck, for that, I’d even spring for signature confirmation!