Where you sleep till noon
Someone, maybe even someone in Arizona, could wake up as the winner of the biggest Powerball, or any national lottery, jackpot ever on Sunday. That could happen to anyone optimistically clutching a Powerball ticket for Saturday night’s drawing.
A colossal record-smashing $1.6 billion jackpot hangs in the balance, propped up by countless anonymous hopes and dreams.
Even the Arizona Lottery itself is stoked to see what happens. The Lottery’s public information officer, John Gilliland, told PlayAZ before the Wednesday drawing for $1.2 billion:
“We are very excited, as is the whole country. When jackpots get this big, millions of people dream big.”
Lump sum or annuity?
Either way, you can say goodbye to Ramen noodle dinners. A Powerball jackpot winner can choose between two options: a one-time lump sum or an annuity paid out over three decades.
If someone wins Saturday night and chooses the lump-sum option, they’ll get about $782.4 million before taxes. With the annuity option, payment amounts will increase by 5% every year until the full $1.6 billion has been distributed.
Nicholas Bunio, a certified financial planner from Pennsylvania, advised taking the annuity, according to KSLA in Louisiana. He explained that doing so actually allows room for investment mistakes here and there.
On the other hand, a lump-sum payout well invested could eventually exceed the total of an annuity payout, according to lotterycritic.com.
Either way, again, lottery wins are inheritable.
Checking the boxes when you win with the Arizona Lottery
Remember to check your ticket. Here in Arizona, a $4.3 million jackpot recently expired unclaimed.
And as Arizona Lottery’s Gilliland said, “Can’t make a dream come true if they don’t cash in their ticket.” To protect a lottery dream come true, he advises players to follow these steps:
- Sign the back of your ticket — that way no one else can redeem it.
- Keep the ticket in a safe place.
- Call a financial advisor for a big jackpot.
Also, Gilliland wants to remind people that “the jackpot is not the only prize up for grabs. Players can and do win lower-tier prizes and those can be life-changing, too.” Someone in Arizona won $1 million in Wednesday’s $1.2 billion drawing.
Thanks to lottery players and, in Arizona, a network of over 3,200 “valued retailers,” neither the country nor Arizona has to depend entirely on taxes to fund some important programs, said Gilliland.
Those include 17 legislatively mandated Arizona Lottery beneficiaries that work to protect the environment. Lottery ticket purchases also help grow the state’s economy as well as build and maintain the infrastructures of the state’s public university campuses.
And they keep the “most vulnerable Arizonans” safe and healthy. “We want all of our players to know that we are rooting for them and that we want them to have fun, responsibly, while also remembering all the good they are doing for Arizona,” Gilliland said.
What could Saturday’s jackpot buy?
Maybe you couldn’t buy Twitter for a measly 1.6 billion dollars — it recently cost Elon Musk $44 billion — but there are many things you could buy, including:
- 948 million packs of Peanut M&Ms
- 800 Ferrari Monza SP1s
- Over half a million French Bulldogs
- 133,000,000 rolls of Christmas wrapping paper
- 457 British castles
- 21,000 racehorses
- 5.3 billion packages of Ramen Noodles
- 10,666 nights in a luxury submarine hotel
Saturday’s drawing marks the 40th time this particular jackpot has rolled over. And if no one wins Saturday, the jackpot will have the most drawings ever.