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Q&A: About a third of Americans have dropped landline phones

More landline phones dropped

I've been thinking about getting rid of my landline phone and just relying on my cell phone. How many others are doing that?

A lot. According to some experts, landlines could be extinct in the United States by 2025.

"The phrase 'home telephone number' is going the way of rotary dial phones and party lines," Stephen Blumberg at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, told USA Today.

A government study indicated that about 34 percent of all American households have already cut the cord, and another 10 percent are cancelling annually. That's as many as 700,000 landline phones being disconnected a month.

The changeover has been both stunning and swift. A mere seven years ago, just 7 percent of all households used cellphones only. Since 2008, cellphone-only households have doubled, from 17 percent to 34 percent.

Demographics suggest this is a trend that won't change. A recent report indicated 65 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 29 use only their cellphone. Another study reported that just 14 percent of all teens say they talk to friends on a landline phone on a daily basis, down from 30 percent in 2009. And 31 percent said they never talk to friends on a landline, up from 19 percent who indicated this in 2009.

Even those using home phones are increasingly turning away from traditional phone lines. As more and more American homes get broadband access (more than 90 percent have it now), more are turning to VoIP (voice over Internet protocol). That number is about 25 percent of all residential landlines and rising quickly. Some experts think VoIP soon will replace traditional landlines for those who don't want to go cell-only.

What facet of American life will technology affect next? How about television? According to a survey, 36 percent of those who have disconnected their phone landlines have also cut the cable cord. And as options for ways to view entertainment grow, so will that number.

Dividing lottery proceeds

How do the states divide proceeds from the multistate lotteries?

Florida Lottery spokesperson Meagan Dougherty said 50 percent of the total revenue generated by ticket sales is paid out in prizes. The lower-level prizes are paid by the states, and the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) pays the jackpot winners. MUSL is a nonprofit association owned and operated by the 33 states that take part in a variety of lotteries that includes Powerball.

Dougherty said the run of recent Powerball rollovers, from Oct. 6 until two winning tickets were sold Nov. 28, generated about $140 million in sales in Florida. After the half for prizes, 40 percent goes into Florida's educational trust fund, 6 percent goes to retailers, 2 percent goes to vendors and 2 percent is used for operating expenses.

That Powerball jackpot grew to a record $587.5 million before two winning tickets were sold, one in Missouri and the other in Arizona.

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Q&A: About a third of Americans have dropped landline phones 12/23/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:38pm]
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