Everyone is talking about it today! It’s not the State of the Union Address from last night, it’s the $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot tonight.
If you’re on social media as much as I am, it’s hard to not get a little day-dreamy about winning the big jackpot. I’m seeing stories on Facebook, tweets on Twitter, pictures of lottery tickets on Instagram. Here are some things I learned over the past few days:
1) It’s better to take the 30-year annuity rather than the oh-so-popular cash option because you will get more money in the long run. Even though you may be dead in 30 years, the payments become part of your estate. The New York Times.
2) Using the quick-pick option makes it more likely that you will be the only winner. Many people who select their own numbers choose lower numbers associated with months/days. I can’t recall where I saw this one.
3) There’s a 97% chance that there will be at least one winner in tonight’s drawing. FiveThirtyEight
4) The lottery board changed the probability last October to make the jackpots go higher. There’s a bigger chance to win small (changed from 35 to 26 Powerball options), but a worse chance to win big (changed from 59 to 69 options). Washington Post
5) If you bought every single combination of winning numbers it would cost more than $500 million… so if you had to share the jackpot, you wouldn’t make a profit.
When I bought my $20 worth of tickets last night I went to a liquor store because liquor stores are lucky, right? The people in line at the liquor store for lottery tickets all agreed… buying lottery tickets at the grocery store is just not lucky. The guy in front of me in line bought one quick pick Powerball ticket and said that he’s going all over the place buying just one ticket. Interesting strategy!
Personally, I used my lucky New Year’s money to make the purchase. This is a tradition that I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember: you put money outside your door on NYE and bring it in on New Year’s Day. That means you will be bringing in money all year long. New Year’s Superstitions.
Good luck! #PlayToWin #Powerball