By this time tomorrow I’ll be trying to figure out how to spend $1.5 billion dollars. That’s right; I’m going to be winning the Powerball tonight. I’ve already decided I’m not going to claim the money right away. I’m going to wait a few days and see if I survive the shock. I take the cash option so I will only see about a $930 million, and then after sharing it with the Feds and the State of New Mexico I’ll only have a few hundred million, but I think it will be enough.
What I don’t understand is why if I get all five numbers but not the Powerball I only get a million. It doesn’t sound right to me. Why should “second” prize be so much less than the top prize? Shouldn’t it be like $20 million or something? Only 25 people got all five numbers in the last drawing on Saturday. I mean, the odds of getting five numbers are pretty out there. And, no, my math isn’t wrong because three of the winners got $2 million because they paid the extra $1 for the Power Play which doubles your grand prize win and can be as much as 10X the amount of lesser wins.
What I also noticed in the Wednesday drawing is that no one from New Mexico was in that group of 25. There were 18,315,365 winners on Saturday, January 9th. That’s a lot of people. Of course most of those got four numbers or less and the amount you win for getting 3 numbers and the Powerball, for example, is $100. If you get one number and the Powerball you win $4. I’ve won that prize four times now. At least I can claim to be a lottery winner.
Powerball is played in 47 states lotteries. Last October they changed the game to pick five numbers from 1-69 and one Powerball number from 1-26. The intent was to increase the size of the jackpots, and that seems to be the case, but it also increased the odds of winning. Odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are now 1 in 292,201,338.
So should you play your own numbers, or let the computer pick them for you? According to the Powerball website FAQs, 70-80% of purchases are computer picks, or “quick” picks. In relation to that, 70-80% of the winning tickets are quick picks. That’s interesting. I play my own numbers, but I have some quick picks for tonight’s drawing. I’m playing the odds.
And the lottery sends you a W2-G form because the IRS will take a withholding amount out of your big win immediately. Obviously at the highest tax rate, so you’ll have the rest of the year to make all those charitable contributions and other deductions so you can get a refund. Right.
Anyway, I’m going to think positively until the drawing tonight and then I’ll make whatever plans are necessary. I’m thinking I’ll need to hire an accountant, investment counselor, and lawyer, buy an island in the South Pacific, and get off the grid as soon as possible. If I win $930 million everybody is going to want a piece of me. But I’ll have to survive the shock first.