Want to change your luck?

How lucky are you? Lightning has struck my pointy head several times in my life. I’m that person, but believe you have to play in order to win. So when I drove to pick up Danny after skiing late Saturday afternoon, I made a pitstop at City Market to buy a Powerball ticket. I assumed there would be a long line and was glad he waited inside the Grand Lodge at Peak 7. The sun had set behind the Ten Mile Range and the temperature dove.

primark line

I thought the line would be as long as this one.

Across the country, hopeful winners waited in long lines to purchase their winning tickets. Not at this Breckenridge grocery store. No line existed.

I haven’t played in over a year and messed up the first two tickets. Luckily, no one waited behind me. When I finally filled in the little empty squares properly, the clerk asked, “So if you win, will you take the lump sum or a yearly payout? They take about sixty percent in taxes.”

The sound of a needle scratching a record drowned out the hum of bustling shoppers and Muzak playing from overhead speakers.

Whoa. That’s a lot of money for Uncle Sam. It doesn’t really seem fair since he doesn’t buy a ticket and then sweat while looking up the winning numbers.

“I don’t know. Probably a yearly payout.”

Chances were 1 out of 292,000,000 and nobody won. If you lived in an unplugged world for the last few days, you probably don’t know the jackpot grew to 1.3 BILLION!

I Googled the tax. They take 40% of the one-time payout. You would pay 4% in taxes if you live in Colorado and choose the thirty-year payout. Would I want Sammy boy to hang on to my money? I’m not sure. I would LOVE to have that problem.

There is quite a range of taxes. It depends on where you live. I got this from the USA Mega Millions Site:


Yearly:                                                                                     One-time payout:

Colorado: 4% State Tax – $1,733,333
– $32,240,000
Your average net per  year: $30,766,667 Your net payout:  $572,260,000
After 30 payments:  $923,000,010

Would I choose the 572 million or be happy with almost $31,000,000 per year for thirty years? Hmm…

I wondered if I could borrow against the thirty-year payout to buy a small country. I would name it Wild Childland. Would I rather live large or leave it to my kids? How would it change my every day lifestyle? Would it become a rock and roll lifestyle? With that kind of money, I could hire someone to query for me so I could focus on writing and traveling. My life would become REALLY WILD!

New York has the highest tax:

New York: 8.82% State Tax – $3,822,000
– $71,089,200
Your average net per year: $28,678,000 Your net payout:  $533,410,800
After 30 payments:  $860,340,000

If you live in California, Delaware, Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, or Washington, you will pay NO STATE TAX!

You won’t throw away money on a Powerball ticket or what I call, making a donation to Colorado’s parks and recreation? Wouldn’t you spend two dollars to become a BILLIONAIRE? I would.

Here’s the deal. The odds of winning never change, but the money has grown to a ridiculous amount.

I would be grateful to choose three numbers and win $100!

Powerball Payouts from Lottery USA:
Numbers Matched Prize Odds of Winning
5 + Powerball Jackpot – 1.3 billion! 1 in 292,201,338.00
5 $1,000,000 1 in 11,688,053.52
4 + Powerball $50,000 1 in 913,129.18
4 $100 1 in 36,525.17

Do you want to change your luck? You have to play to win. Somebody will. If you win, remember your Wild Rider friend. I’ll remember you if I win and will ease into my rock and roll lifestyle with a Wild Blog Party to remember for thirty years to come. Unless I take the payout. Hmm.

NOTE TO SELF: Buy Powerball tickets.

The next drawing is on Wednesday at 10:59 Eastern Time. 

Are you going to play or let someone else win? Would you take the one-time payout? How would you spend all that cash?

60 thoughts on “Want to change your luck?

Add yours

  1. I play the lottery when the jackpot is over $100 million, because, really, who can live with less money than that? I see it as a fun way to finance my fantasies of helping family members, doing wonderful things in the world (donating to health charities) etc., all from a damn nice house someplace wonderful.

    What the hell. $2 is only money!


  2. Isn’t that a crazy amount of money? I’d take the lump sum payment and have a blast making my family set for life. And I suspect my preferred charities would be pleased too. So yes, I’ll play this week. The odds are horrible, but as they say, you have to be in it to win it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not sure I understand how it is that Michigan is .25% higher than you in tax, yet I would take a bigger payout. (Then again, me ≠ math!)

    Would I -like- 33m a year? Of course. But I think the 5k win from Mega Millions or the 50k win from Powerball is what’s -truly- on my bucket list. (I’m not putting it into my bucket list Word doc…it’s just in my head.) I have a better hope for that, even if the odds for both are just shy of one in a million. (Or at least from MM…I don’t usually play Pb because it’s $2. This week will be an exception!) I used to play Classic Lotto 47, too (that’s our in-state only big draw); until someone pointed out to me that no, it’s -not- better odds because you’re only playing against the 83 counties of Michigan, a lottery is still a lottery!

    It also dawned on me last night that it’s (theoretically) easier to win with Publisher’s Clearinghouse than the lottery. If we assume that PCH isn’t rigged, they will draw a winner every time. The lottery, on the other hand, is a specific set of numbers and therefore doesn’t guarantee a winner every time. O.o


  4. Crazy amount either way, I don’t have a ticket and can’t imagine the trouble all money would attract. A little pot of money and no troubles I choose, after all a large number of people (millions ) earn less than a dollar a day, I’m blessed big time already in my mind with my kidney transplant, wonderful wife and family and some special friends.


    1. You are so right! We are both blessed with good health after close calls.
      I wonder how many long lost relatives would come knocking on my door… It would be time to screen my calls or remain anonymous. I just keep thinking of all the good I could do for some local non-profits. It would blow their minds! It might be worth a little trouble. I hope to have that problem!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. One can dream, huh!!! I’ve only bought a lottery ticket a couple of times and never felt badly knowing the money was going to Colorado parks and rec. Hmm, if I buy a ticket in Texas, I wonder where that money will go. Time to Google then head off to the local 7-Eleven 🙂


  6. Something I don’t see you factoring in is the earning potential of the money you take upfront. You pay the higher tax, but now you have earnings on the total capital you invest. So you pay tax on that income as well, but at the end of the period it still seems to me you would come out ahead that way.
    I do imagine that after winning over a billion I would probably run to standing quite a few drinks at the local pub …

    Liked by 1 person

  7. For me this is a moot question. I never buy lottery tickets so I don’t win. Makes life so much simpler! No potential tax problems & no 3rd cousins once removed showing up in your life after you win. Right there, by avoiding those 2 things, I believe I’ve won the lottery. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. This is exactly what I’m hoping for. I want a friend to win, then I can say I knew you back when you were a pauper like me. Best of luck, susie. May the numbers be with you. 😉


  8. As I mentioned on Darla’s blog, here in the UK, you don’t have the option of a yearly payout, you just get given the whole lot as a lump sum, with no taxes to pay, you just get the whole prize yourself, so at least we can concentrate our energies on deciding how to spend it rather than deciding how we want to receive it!


  9. Love the analysis. I would take cash since there is no guarantee any of the money will be available to the end of the annuity. (Given the graft a corruption factor.) Yes, I would be happy paying uncle Sam whatever Uncles says I owe. I will be happy to make up for some of the slack. Good job Susie.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I wouldn’t even know how to play. How do you pick your numbers? Is there some kind of system?

    I’d take the pay out. There’s stuff I want to buy.

    Good luck! And if you win, I expect to see you in Mississippi real soon.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt


    1. Statistically, quick picks, which are numbers chosen at random by the computer, win more often, so you could just tell the clerk how many quick picks you want. Otherwise you can choose 5 numbers and one powerball number and scribble boxes on the sheet. Good luck to you! I hope one of us wins. I would definitely come see you or you can come to my country, Wild Childland. Ha!


  11. It’s kind of funny to have the clerk ask whether you’ve considered the potential logistics of how you’ll be receiving your money. I bet up until that point you’d never considered how much work it would be to become a billionaire. All that paperwork. All those taxes. Not worth it.

    I don’t like the idea of a 1.3 billion dollar payout. Wouldn’t it be so much more fun if 1,300 people all won a million dollars? I’m sure I’d personally know at least one of those 1,300 winners.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sure you would know someone since I’m very lucky and you know me. With all that money, I would pay someone to handle it. I plan to give away millions to charity so many would benefit from my win. The million dollar question is would you come to Wild Childland?


  12. Please can I live in your wild country??? I am glad you did all the math for us, I would be completely clueless if I won (when I win!) You bet your wild ass I have played each time! 🙂 Because I love you I have to tell you that you spelled my island wrong (I’m sure a typo)! Rico with an o instead of the a. Gracias! xoxo


    1. Isn’t that funny that spellcheck didn’t catch that! Dang. Thanks for letting me know!!!
      Please come to live in my Wild country. There will be dancing every night and the ocean breezes will keep it the perfect temperature. I have to buy my tickets tomorrow. The winning tickets! Hey. $100 is a winner too!
      Good luck, Chica!


  13. I live in CA, I have never won but I think we are taxed. I also think if I took the 26 year pay out, the money stops coming in if I die before 26 years. I would love to just get four number right, that would help on my month of bills!! Good Luck to you, I can tell that you would do good things with it.


    1. Good luck to you too! I totally agree that winning with a few numbers would be fantastic! If you do the annual payout there is no state tax, but the lump sum is taxed 40% everywhere in the US. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for one of us to win! It would be AMAZING!
      That is so sweet of you to say. I would give away a ton of it to small non-profits which could really use the money. Fingers crossed!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Susie. I don’t play Lotto. I guess I’m not that motivated. But if I ever won that kind of money, I would take the lump sum and buy ordinary houses for the family. Next I would try and address the rising number of homelessness. I.E get more night shelters open. As for the government getting my taxes, they can try but this is what offshore accounts are for. That way the money get spent where it’s needed, not on expenses for people like Ian Duncan Smith, etc


  15. Our office is going in on a couple of tickets. Since I’m the boss, I made the other employees promise they wouldn’t quite immediately if they won, but it would be OK to cut back to part-time.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I live in one of those states with no state income tax, so my take home would be a bit more than some. That said, I’d probably take the lump sum. Anything over $10 or $20 million is gravy- especially if I keep health insurance. (My kid cost almost $100,000 before he ever came home from the hospital when he was born- thank goodness for insurance!). I’d pull my kid out of school, hire a tutor and travel around the globe as a family (plus tutor) for a year. And after that we could reassess to either do it again, or plunk down and do whatever the heck we want. One thing that I’d really love to do is establish several schools that would completely change the way we teach- especially for children like my son who learn differently from most. The school experience would look very different from what we are used to, and the focus would be very different. It would be a place of information and experience that would be heart centered in every aspect. On second thought, I might need to take the payments over time so I could have more money for the schools.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. As you say, gotta play to have any chance.
    I’d go for the lump sum – don’t trust long term, and you can invest and manage yourself.
    A couple of children’s hospitals research teams would get hefty sums along with Wounded Warrior type group – I’d like to see all vets get those bionic limbs if needed – supporting a factory for those would create jobs, too.
    And a large sailboat along with a lovely home in the mountains for variation. (and a writers’ retreat perhaps?)
    And back to the first line of the comment….


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