Multi-millionaire wannabes across the country are once again flooding ticket outlets as the latest Powerball jackpot has moved above $300 million.

$300 million is a lot of moola! But, so is the cash option of $191.4 million. But, wait before you automatically take the cash option.

Here's the deal. If you choose the jackpot option, the money will be paid out over the course of about 30 years - which is pretty good financial security. But, often times people choose the cash option because it is paid out in one lump sum.

What many people fail to realize, however, is that the cash option still has to have taxes deducted. So, figuring about half of your winnings are going to taxes, if you choose the cash option,  you're going to end up with less than $100 million after taxes - which certainly isn't chump change, but is far less than either the big jackpot amount or the cash lump sum amount.

What the lottery does are assigns a fixed percentage of total ticket sales to its lump sum total. If you choose the cash option, this money is on hand and is paid to you immediately. However, if you choose the annuity option, the lottery folks are going to invest all of that money and earn interest on it for years to come. They will make an initial payment to you, and then make a payment to you every year for the next 29 years. If the jackpot after taxes is $150 million, that comes to about $5 million per year.

One advantage of taking the 30-year payout is that helps to keep winners from blowing it all at once. If you think you may not live for another 30 years it is no problem because the payments can be passed on to your heirs.

On the other hand, even if you put a paltry $90 million in your bank account after taxes, you could look at it this way. Even if you made $50,000 a year, it would take you 1800 years to earn 90 million.

So much to think about, but first things first. You have to buy a $2 ticket. Otherwise, none of this will ever matter. And, of course, even if you DO buy a ticket, the chances of you having to worry about any of this are pretty astronomical. They say you are more likely to be struck by lightning than you are to win the Powerball, but that may not exactly be true. In 2013, 230 people were struck by lightning, but Powerball is creating 500 millionaires every year. That's why we play.


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