Winning the lottery always used to be about becoming a millionaire. Now though, it’s more likely that you’d become a mega millionaire – should you ever be lucky enough to beat the incredibly high odds of landing the jackpot.
In the American Mega Millions Lottery the minimum winning jackpot is for $15million, certainly not an amount to be sneezed at. But more often than not, the jackpot prize funds stretches into hundreds of millions, with the largest jackpot so far worth $656 million in annuity value (where you get the win in annual payments rather than a cash lump sum). That was back in March 2012, and there were three wining tickets, in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland. Each of the winners chose the cash option and took home $158 million each.
The likelihood of winning is beyond slim, but what would you do with all those millions if you got lucky? We all think we’d know what to spend it on, but the truth is that many lotto winners end up wasting a lot of their windfall. That’s because it’s dull to do the sensible thing with the win and get some sound financial advice on how to plan its use. It’s far more fun to go and treat everyone you know to amazing vacations and gifts, and to treat yourself to all those luxury items you’d never have otherwise been able to afford. Even the people who do take advice on how to look after that kind of sum of money can find it too much to cope with, but there are some lotto winners out there who do manage their win wisely.
What people would actually do with a mega jackpot win is as yet unknown territory for most of the population. However, it’s probably fair to say that 99% of us would like to give it a try and see how we got on!