Who Wants to be a Billionaire?

By: Mitch Hughes

People are lining up in gas stations and other local retailers all over the country to have their shot at winning an astonishing estimated 1.4 billion dollars. The current Powerball jackpot is at a record high, doubling the previous record of $656 million,  because nobody has won the jackpot since it opened up at $40 million on November 4, 2015. Players will have their next shot at the jackpot on Wednesday, January 13. UPDATE: Three ticket holders with a claim on a record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot were lying low on Thursday, their identities still a mystery even as lottery officials revealed the retailers in California, Florida and Tennessee that sold them the lucky tickets (Reuters).

There is certainly a reason nobody has won the jackpot in so long. The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot, which involves matching all five numbers along with the Powerball number to a set of numbers randomly selected every Wednesday and Saturday night, is approximately 1 in 292 million. A few jokes about the shocking statistic have been floating around such as: one is more likely to be struck by lightning while drowning and the odds are equivalent to flipping a quarter and landing heads 28 times in a row. These daunting odds surely aren’t keeping swarms of people from heading to their local lottery sales place to purchase any number of the two dollar tickets.

Despite the near-impossible odds, it’s hard not imagine what one would do with all of that money. After paying for college, buying a house and car, and donating to every charity there is, you’d still have more money than you know what to do with. Even after state and federal taxes, one would still be left an extreme lump sum. There are also multiple ways to receive the money. There is the cash option which results in immediate payout with less money, or there is an installment plan in which you receive the whole sum of your winnings over the course of 30 years.

 

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