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Going to win $1.2B Powerball prize? Consider not taking cash

Think you’re a sure bet for Wednesday night’s estimated $1.2 billion Powerball jackpot?

November 3, 2022
By SCOTT McFETRIDGE
3 November 2022

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Think you’re a sure bet for Wednesday night’s estimated $1.2 billion Powerball jackpot?

If so, you need to decide whether to take cash, which would actually pay out $596.7 million, or choose the $1.2 billion annuity option that is twice as large but is paid out over 29 years.

Winners of giant jackpots nearly always take the cash, and financial advisors say that might be a mistake.

Nicholas Bunio, a certified financial planner from Downingtown, Pennsylvania, said that even with his expertise, he would take an annuity because it would so dramatically lessen his risk of making poor investment decisions.

“It allows you to make a mistake here and there,” Bunio said. “People don’t understand there is a potential for loss. They only focus on the potential for gain.”

Of course, it’s good to keep in mind that your chance of winning the jackpot is incredibly small, at 1 in 292.2 million. That’s why no one has won Powerball’s top prize since Aug. 3 — resulting in 38 consecutive draws without a jackpot winner.

All that losing has let the Powerball jackpot grow to be the fourth-largest in U.S. history. If no one wins Wednesday night, the jackpot could become the largest ever.

Powerball is played in 45 states, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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