What to Do With Your Lottery Jackpot

lottery jackpot

When you win the lottery, you are the winner of a jackpot—a large and often unexpected sum of money. It’s human nature to daydream about hitting the lottery or backing a successful IPO, and those daydreams naturally revolve around what you’d do with your newfound wealth.

Whether you’re trying to hit the lottery or back the right horse, the odds are stacked against you. But, armed with the right mindset and strategy, you can defy the statistics.

The first step is selecting your numbers, a ritual that requires careful choice and a little bit of luck. Lustig suggests steering clear of numbers confined to the same group or ending in similar digits, as those patterns are less likely to yield big winners. Instead, he advises players to opt for numbers in the range of 104 and 176. That’s because 70% of the winning numbers fall within that sweet spot.

You can also improve your chances by purchasing more tickets. However, lottery retailers collect commissions on each ticket sold and cash in when they sell a winning one, so the odds don’t increase with frequency or ticket purchases.

If you do win the lottery, you can choose to receive your prize in a lump sum or as an annuity, with annual payments over decades. Whichever option you choose, it’s important to understand how much taxes the government will take out. You may end up owing more than you expect, depending on the size of your jackpot and your tax bracket.