After 19 consecutive, unsuccessful draws of the Powerball Jackpot, the time has finally arrived. On the night of Jan. 13, 2016, six winning numbers– 08, 27, 34, 04 and 19, and the Powerball 10– were drawn for the Powerball Jackpot, one the the highest selling lotteries in the United States. The winning tickets were sold in California, Tennessee, and Florida. The value of the lottery was 1.5 billion dollars Powerball and will be split between the three winners.

The cash value of $930 million is the highest it’s ever been in Powerball history, with the chance of winning being 1 in 292 million.

Besides the winners, key benefactors such as “Atwal, who has owned [7-11 convenience stores] for 24 years, will receive a $1 million bonus for selling the winning ticket” (Riley). Luckily for the winners, they don’t have to pay state taxes leaving only a federal tax of 39.6% to pay. After all these deductions, winners will be expected to receive $187.2 million each.

Leading up to this event, the social craze over the possibility of becoming rich overnight increased dramatically. Thousands of tickets were being bought per minute just hours before the draw. However this event is significant not because of the impressive cash value but because it makes one question the value one puts on the Jackpot.

The Powerball Jackpot is another way that the government receives taxes. Although the government claims that the money raised goes towards funding education, recent studies have proven otherwise. The money collected is shown to go towards a supplement. In this way the odds are always in favor of the government and never in the favor of the players because the goal is to collect as much money as possible from the people through the hopes that they will have a 1 in 292 million chance of becoming rich.

Those who actually win will rarely receive the amount of money advertised because of taxes, the chance of having to split the money with other winners, and many other factors. Upon winning the lottery, one often tends to make rash decisions regarding the money won. Some winners announce to everyone they know that they won prior to going forward and collecting their prize, not realizing that the chances of becoming a target just increased. Other mistakes involve a winner rashly spending his winnings.

Assembling a trusted management team for one’s finances would be a smart decision if one was to win the lottery.

The Powerball craze is ludicrous because statistically, the chances of winning are close to none and the winners don’t get the advertised sum that they are promised because the government does everything it can to take the majority of the money back. One should keep in mind that the participating in the Powerball Jackpot is mathematically irrational.


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