##### Lottery Winners Should Manage Their Wealth Wisely

Lottery is a popular way to raise money. Its popularity stems from the fact that it provides an opportunity for people to improve their lives. However, it is important to note that lottery winners should be careful to manage their wealth wisely.

To maximize your chances of winning, avoid selecting numbers that repeat or end in similar digits. Instead, mix up your selections and try to diversify.

## Origins

Lotteries have a long history and are used for both public and private purposes. They were a popular pastime in Roman times and are attested to in the Bible. They were also common in colonial America, where they helped finance roads, libraries, churches and colleges, including Columbia and Princeton. Benjamin Franklin ran a lottery to raise funds for cannons for Philadelphia during the Revolution, and George Washington tried to run a lottery to fund a road across the Blue Ridge Mountains, but it failed.

Cohen says that in the 1800s, the same religious and moral sensibilities that led to prohibition began to turn against lotteries. This was partly due to the issue of crookedness, as organizers could sell tickets and then abscond without awarding prizes.

## Odds of winning

The odds of winning the lottery are very low. In fact, you have a greater chance of being struck by lightning or becoming a billionaire than winning the lottery. Despite this, people still play the lottery in order to increase their chances of winning. The odds of winning are calculated using a mathematical approach called combinatorics.

The number of tickets you buy does not increase your chances of winning. Each ticket has a fixed probability that is not affected by how many tickets you purchase or how often you play.

Some people think that they increase their chances of winning by buying two tickets instead of one. The truth is that they have only doubled their odds. It would take trillions of tickets at \$2 a pop to increase the odds by 5%, which is not very realistic.

## Taxes on winnings

When you win the lottery, there are several ways to wisely spend your windfall. Typically, paying off high-rate debts, saving for emergencies, and investing are smart choices. However, you should also consider taxes.

The IRS treats lottery winnings as income, so you’ll pay federal income tax on your winnings. The amount you pay depends on your federal tax bracket. In general, the highest tax bracket is 37 percent. However, you should keep in mind that marginal tax rates only apply to additional income over a certain threshold.

You can choose to receive your winnings in a lump sum payment or as annual payments, known as an annuity. Each option has different financial implications, so it’s best to consult with a certified public accountant or financial planner before making your decision.

## Annuity options

There are several annuity options available to people who win the lottery. These options can help them avoid paying a lot of taxes all at once, and they also offer the security of a guaranteed income stream. However, the decision to sell annuity payments can be complex and should be made with the guidance of financial professionals.

Stoltmann recommends that lottery winners seek a team of experts, including an attorney, accountant and financial planner, to guide them through the process of weighing their options. Those who choose to sell their annuity payments should research reputable buyers, and request quotes from multiple companies.

It’s important to note that annuity payments don’t adjust for inflation. This can significantly erode their purchasing power over time. This can make the annuity option a poor choice for many people.

## Super-sized jackpots

While the soaring jackpots make for great headlines and boost lottery sales, they’re not as common as you might think. They’re mostly the result of higher interest rates, which enable lottery prizes to grow much larger when annuitized over three decades.

But it’s difficult for people to grasp how rare a jackpot is, according to a recent study by NerdWallet. “Human beings just have a fundamentally difficult time understanding risk when it comes to things that are very, very rare,” says Matheson.

And even if you do win, don’t think you can afford to spend the money daily forever. Big lottery prizes come with big recurring tax and maintenance bills, plus the temptation to buy expensive cars, houses or private jets. The reality is that most jackpot winners end up spending their winnings in just a few years.