While we were all arguing lump sum vs. annuity (our commenters seem to have much more faith in the money management skills of winners than we do), the Powerball jackpot hit half a billion freakin’ dollars. $510 million, to be specific. So, should you buy a ticket, and what should you do if you actually beat the odds and win?
First of all, before you put your whole paycheck on tickets, remember that the odds of winning the whole boat are roughly 1 in 296 million. While the odds of winning a smaller prize of a million are much more likely, 1 in 11 million, that’s still vanishingly small chances. Odds are good you won’t win at all. So, buy a ticket because it’s fun, and because at least some of the money goes to a good cause, not because you want to pee on your boss’ desk come Monday.
No need for FOMO if you live in one of the five states without Powerball. The odds aren’t worth driving to buy a ticket. Especially you, Alaskans. (But if you buy two tickets…)
If you do beat the insane odds and win? Hide. Lottery winners tend to learn the truth of Biggie’s adage “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems.” in a freaking hurry. Lottery winners have literally been badgered into suicide by people demanding donations. So if the numbers match, get your ticket in, but be ready for an incredibly wild ride.