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More money than you can imagine

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

March 28, 2012 1:12:35 PM PDT
So what would you do if you suddenly won $500 million?

Whether you're rich or poor, it's nice to have money. My dad used to say that. And I think the same goes for - it's nice to think about having money.

It's way too easy to fantasize about all the things one could do with the money. The homes for parents, the education of your children, helping your favorite non-profits, okay - going on a great vacation. Whatever. It can be a nice time-out.

There are those who strongly criticize the lottery craze as a distraction, or a tax on the poorest Americans who can ill afford to be wagering, or as an addictive hobby. And they have a strong argument.

But something happens when the jackpot goes over $300 million, as it did this week. And when it tops $500 million as it did today - well, otherwise rational people quickly become irrational.

I can could on one hand the number of times I've bought lottery tickets. But I did last night. And I suspect I will by Friday for the drawing.

And yes it's irrational. The odds against winning? 176 million-to-1.

So what would you do with that kind of money, in the highly unlikely event you beat the odds and win? Go ahead - write it down. Hey, ya never know!

The drawing is Friday, right before Eyewitness News at 11.

Now to tonight's 11.

And we begin with NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly strongly reacting to allegations made by a veteran police Sergeant to Eyewitness News that the department is "cooking the books" and making it appear that crime is lower than it actually is.

Kelly talks to our investigative reporter Jim Hoffer, who has been documenting allegations that the so-called safest city in America may actually not be. And it's a fascinating interview, with Mr. Kelly coming out swinging.

Also at 11, we'll also have the latest on the Jet Blue pilot who went berserk yesterday on a flight from JFK to Las Vegas. Authorities tonight are weighing whether to file charges against the captain. The FBI says it's investigation is "ongoing."

Meanwhile, here's something to ponder: The quick-thinking co-pilot somehow convinced the melting down captain to leave the cockpit, and then, while he was gone, reprogrammed the combination to the cockpit door.

Good plan.

But what if it was the troubled pilot who was left alone at the helm, and HE reprogrammed the door combo, with no fail safe way to get in? Sounds to me like a security problem. I'm just sayin'.

We're also in Cuba, where the Pope tonight ends his 3-day visit. And at the end of his trip he finally met with Fidel Castro. The world's most famous Catholic confabbing with the world's most famous Communist. Two octogenarians with so many people following what they say and what they believe. Our Diana Williams is in Havana for us tonight.

We'll also have the latest on the sale of the L.A. Dodgers to a group headed by Magic Johnson - the sports figure who is surpassed in popularity in L.A. perhaps only by Vin Scully and Sandy Koufax. Johnson, who helped re-energize basketball and redefine the role of point guard as the star of the star-packed L.A. Lakers in the 1980s, is part of a group that bought the Dodgers for $2 billion - the most ever paid for a sports team.

The Dodgers, of course, linked forever to New York, after the team left Brooklyn after the 1957 season and brought baseball west of the Mississippi to California - just in time to take advantage of the baby boomers reaching Little League age. I was part of that clan, and 1958, while a year of sorrow for folks in Brooklyn, was a year of sheer joy and delight for those of us who grew up in L.A.

Also at 11, our Darla Miles has an eye-opening story about how to avoid infidelity in marriage. Avoid it before it happens. Some common sense advice for an all-too-common occurrence.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg with his AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.


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