KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Powerball jackpot has climbed to estimated $800 million Friday morning, according to the lottery officials. This is the largest jackpot in the history of any lottery game in the US.
You have until 10 p.m. on Saturday to buy a ticket to be eligible for this drawing, but it’s better to do it earlier to avoid the lines. According to the lottery officials, the peak sales occurred between 6 and 7 p.m. Thursday when the tickets were selling at 25,000 tickets a minute.
If you have the winning ticket you will not take home all $800 million, but you will still get a big chunk after taxes and people are already making plans for what they will buy if they win. Lottery officials said that the Jackpot prizes are paid out in 30 annual installments or as a one-time, lump-sum payment.
Everyone has their own plans for what they would do with a few hundred million dollars, but the odds of actually getting all those winning numbers are not so good – about one in 292 million. You actually have better chances of being struck by lightning or killed by a vending machine, but that was not stopping people from forking over a couple bucks for a ticket.
What do you do if you win?
Financial planners say hold on tight to that ticket and get a team of advisers in place.
“Put a team together and then come up with a game plan on what you want to do before you get all the money, all the media blitz, and obviously with winning something like this you’re going to have a lot of friends and family that you’ve never had before,” said John Fawaz, Certified Financial Planner.
Fawaz suggests taking the lump sum over the annual payments because interest rates are so low and remember to be smart with your investments.
“Most people that win lotteries end up bankrupt, and the issue is well how does that happen? A lot of times people invest in things they have no business investing in or have no experience investing in,” he said.
For most people it is the fun of the game and the dream of millions that keeps them in play.