Powerball, Not so Lucky Winner

Victoria Wendt, Staff Writter

Being a billionaire could take away troubles and turn dreams into reality. Powerball lottery has a jackpot prize that is now up to 1.4 billion dollars due to there not being a winner since November 4th. Although all that money seems perfect, playing the lottery isn’t always a good idea.

The chance to win is one in 292.2 million, or the equivalence, according to associate professor at the University of Buffalo Jeffrey Miecznikowski, of flipping a coin and getting heads 28 times in a row. Your odds are slim, and buying a ticket at $2 dollars each, will most likely just leave you $2 poorer.

Suppose you were that one in 292.2 million and won. There are many issues that come with being the winner, taxing is probably the biggest lottery burden a winner could face. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) taxes 39.6% on the initial jackpot price, and then on top of that, the government takes 25% of the overall winnings. Although the advertised price was $1.4 billion, you only end up with about ⅓ or $561.7 million of the prize. That doesn’t even include the fact that there could be more than one winner who you have to split it with. So you never will walk away with $1.4 billion like you’re led to believe.

Clearly to the average everyday lower/ middle class citizen would be thrilled to get the $561.7 million dollars even if it’s only a third of what they thought they were getting. When word gets out that you’re the one that won the Powerball jackpot, everyone you ever met, and people you were never good friends with will start coming into your life and try to be friends with you just for the money. It could be very hard to know who your real friends are or who you can trust because of the large amount of money that you just encountered. As well as people coming after you to rob or kill you over your money isn’t something you would’ve faced prior to winning the 1.4 billion dollar prize.

Playing your chances is part of the game of the lottery and that is what can make it fun. As exciting as it can be, you have to look at the bigger more realistic side of things when you go to purchase a ticket. You never know how your life could change from winning the big 1.4 billion Powerball prize.