The world loves a good lottery jackpot, and there’s no denying it. Super-sized jackpots drive lottery sales, and they earn lotteries a windfall of free publicity on news sites and newscasts. But they’re also a dangerous game. Here are a few things you need to know before you buy your next ticket.
When a jackpot hits, millions of Americans go into hysteria. Billboards across the country are plastered with cartoon dollar signs. In the fall of 2018, America was gripped by Mega Millions fever when the prize topped $1.6 billion, the largest in history. Against the odds of one in 302.6 million, someone finally won.
While it may be tempting to buy every number in the lottery, that’s not a smart strategy. Instead, select numbers that have a high probability of being drawn. This will boost your chances of winning, and it’ll help you budget for future drawings.
In addition, make sure you purchase a ticket with a unique serial number. This will give you the best chance of keeping your prize if it is won.
When you win the lottery, you can choose to receive a lump sum or an annuity. The lump sum option lowers the overall payout, while the annuity offers a near-guarantee of long-term income. Regardless of what you choose, be sure to get a financial adviser on board to help you manage your finances. This includes determining how much tax you will owe, and whether your newfound wealth will make you richer in the long run.