What Happens If You Hit the Lottery Jackpot?

lottery jackpot

If you’re one of the lucky few who hit the lottery jackpot, there are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, your odds of winning are still shockingly low — you’re more likely to be struck by lightning or die in a car crash. If you’re really serious about winning the lottery, there’s only one way to guarantee a win: purchasing enough tickets to include every possible number combination. Unfortunately, this would cost a fortune.

As a result, most people who win the lottery do so by playing consistently over time and by purchasing multiple tickets each drawing. It’s also important to remember that lottery winnings are considered income. As a result, the IRS will withhold 24% of the prize money at the top (in 2023, this is about $768 million for an individual) before it is distributed to the winner.

The good news is that there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of hitting the lottery jackpot — including buying more tickets and selecting numbers that other players don’t usually choose. However, even if you purchase a massive amount of tickets and select all the right numbers, there’s no guarantee you’ll win.

When you do win the lottery, the first decision you’ll have to make is how to receive your prize. Most Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto America and Lucky for Life games offer winners the option of choosing between a lump sum payout and an annuity payment. From a financial perspective, it’s usually smarter to take the annuity because you’ll end up with more of the jackpot money over the long run.