Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check
January 5, 2011
Your tax dollars at work:
You'll get an extra weekend to file this year taxes.
The Internal Revenue Service says taxpayers will have three extra days to file their returns because of the Emancipation Day holiday celebrated in the District of Columbia.
The holiday, marking the freeing of D-C slaves by PRESIDENT LINCOLN, falls on April 16, a Saturday, so that means the district takes the day off on Friday, the 15th. Since tax deadlines can't fall on a weekend or holiday, filers will have until midnight April 18 to post or electronically send their returns.
FYI: The IRS had already announced that because of congressional tax changes, itemizers won't be able to file before mid- to late February. (Maiman)
Winning numbers for Tuesday night's $355 million Mega-Millions Lottery: 4, 8, 15, 25, 47; mega-ball: 42. Two tickets matched all six numbers. Those tickets were purchased in Idaho and Washington; they'll split the jackpot. Mega Millions is played in 34 states and Washington DC. Chances of winning the big prize are 1 in 175.7 million.
You're more likely to get stuck on a tarmac for two hours or more than to have won last night's Mega Millions lottery. Try 1 in 964.
At least that's according to a report from the Bureau of Transportation statistics. Other odds, courtesy of several newspapers covering the Mega-hype over mega bucks:
--Winning Mega-Millions: 1 in 176 million
--Dying in an amusement park accident: 1 in 72 million
--Struck by lightning: 1 in 700-thousand
--Being audited by the IRS: 1 in 175
To put it another way: you're 270 times more likely to be dealt a royal flush in a five-card poker hand than you are to win the Mega Millions jackpot. It's about the same as the odds of rolling a seven in 11 consecutive rolls of a pair of dice.
Going Geek-dot-com /Caught in the Web:
The latest survey from Staples introduces a new term into the lexicon: "phonemancing."
The study finds 60% of small-business owners admit that they spend more time holding their phones than they do the hands of their loved ones. But 40% of the significant others included in the survey say they don't mind phone contact substituting for human contact!
Staples also asked respondents whether it would be easier to go without their phone or their partner for a whole week, and love won out: 63% say they would miss their sweetie more than their mobile. (Kaye)
Auto World /Gas Guzzlin' Update:
A new survey by the CDC in Atlanta shows six in seven U-S adults now wear seatbelts. About 85 percent of us say we always buckle up every time we get in the car.
Only 11 percent wore them in 1982, before the first state law requiring seat belt use.
Government figures show that the years 2001 and 2009 saw a 15-percent decline in non-fatal vehicle crash injuries to 33,808, the lowest number since 1950.
Editor's note: Funny thing is, back when seat belt laws went into effect, the nation was embroiled in a debate where opponents claimed that any law mandating seatbelt use was a government intrusion. Sound familiar? How many people today think it's a government intrusion? (Maiman)
Trash talk and satellite dish:
Did LEANN RIMES give "the girls" a little boost? One insider close to the newly-engaged singer tells Us Weekly she went under the knife and got a boob job. Apparently she's always been a little insecure about her cleavage and had been talking about increasing her bra size for some time.
This could make things even uglier when it comes to her relationship with fiance EDDIE CIBRIAN's ex-wife, BRANDI GLANVILLE. Apparently the two used to argue quite a bit and LeAnn accused her of being "plastic" --her response was that's "what Eddie likes" and promised "you'll be there someday, too." Ouch. (Lee)
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