You can get advance knowledge of winning lottery numbers, but only once. When to use the ability?

Though whatever improbable means you care to postulate, you are granted the ability to know the winning Powerball numbers one day in advance. You can only use this ability once, and you cannot affect what numbers anyone else chooses, so you can’t guarantee that no one else will choose the numbers through ordinary methods. You must use this power within eight weeks of being granted it, or it disappears forever. On the day you are granted the power, the jackpot is at the minimum of $20 million.

When do you use the ability? Bear in mind that every time someone wins the jackpot, the amount is reset to $20 million.

I’d be inclined not to go too high, because the higher it is the more people play and the greater the chances you’ll have to split it between a ton of people. 20 million isn’t bad - I might let it go up a week or two, but I wouldn’t wait for a particularly high number.

I’d like to end up with somewhere in the area of 8 to 15 million, so that typically means an annuity of between 32 and 60 million.

Any more than that just increases the number and severity of leeches, conmen and criminal attraction without giving me any real additional benefit.

Why that number? Because I can figure on spending about $3 million on properties I’d like, then I’d need enough left over to support those properties.

I’d buy the ticket for the last drawing that would work. Either I end up with my share of $20 million (the worst case scenario), or some larger number.


I probably would wait some, but I would try to not think too hard about it. The factors that affect the payout amount are beyond my control and difficult to guesstimate, so I’d try to just be happy that I’ve got a guaranteed few million coming my way.

Cash payout on $120M will be about $40M after taxes. That will be enough. Even if there is another ticket with those numbers, we’ll still have enough to live The Good Life. Waiting for $200M is just too risky, although that payout would be a real ass-tickler.

I wouldn’t use the power immediately. Got some cases I need to wrap up, some financial planning/research to do, and hell, I’m a gambling man. I like to scope out the action at a table a little before placing my bet. I have a vague notion that possibly playing the next game after a really big jackpot is won may have fewer competitors, and a better chance of claiming the whole $20 million prize. I’d want to know what the chance of multiple winners is at a given jackpot level, and then do the math for my likely share after taxes to compare to my net gain from a sole win at $20 million.

I want my best chance at the biggest net win. Elvis bought his mother a house. I’d like to buy my parents a castle (fully staffed, of course + defense grid + luxury package). And I need a castle for myself (fully staffed, of course + defense grid + luxury package + classified party package upgrade). And one for my brother and his wife (fully staffed, of course + defense grid). And another for my closest friends. (fully staffed + defense grid + classified party package upgrade). And still have enough money to retire in style.

I’d wait until the jackpot was at least four times the amount I want. Taking it in a lump sum rather than an annuity will net you about half the nominal amount, and taxes will cut that in half again.

Then you have to assess the chances of a co-winner – has anyone else been given the same power? That would be a nice Rod Serling twist, a la Mr. Denton on Doomsday.

From the stories I’ve heard about lottery winners, you are exactly the type of person who should never win one.

Well, layering “should” doesn’t seem very appropriate. How about: the type of person who will blow it all in record time because they really have absolutely no clue about money/numbers/math/time/taxes…

In the first place, I’m not going to take the current $20 jackpot. That gets me nothing I couldn’t get by waiting a little longer. It’s unlikely that it will pay out twice in a row, so I’ll wait the first month out entirely. If, at the end of that month, the jackpot is at least $100 million, I’ll do it then. If there’s been a winner in the meantime, I’ll wait till it gets to $60 million and do it then. It doesn’t take long for the jackpot to get that high, I don’t think.

The kind of person known for posting whimsical, tongue in cheek musings such as this one that you apparently thought was serious?

No more than you did …

I would wait until it went up some, no real reason to wait for eternity hoping it hits 200mil though. if I hit an 80 million pot and after taxes and all that nonsense wound up with 20mil in the bank I could start my business and still have 15mil left over and have spent about 4.5mil more on the business than it has any real imaginable need for.
I never really understand the logic behind having so much money? could you really not live easily on even 5 mil for the rest of your life?

I’ll Canadianize your poll and go for our current largest national lottery Lotto Max. Once it hits 50 million any further gains are split into multiple secondary jackpots, so my goal would be $50 million but should the 8 week limit be approaching I’d take whatever it was.

On the plus side $50 mill is $50 mill. You get the whole thing right away and there is no tax.

As for going for the max - just a few more options available. More people you can help, more security should you make a poor financial decision, etc.

Realistically, I could and probably would. However, it would be nice to have the extra money to do some special things. Endow a few scholarships. Build a professional theatre company in an area that has none…and run it with people I like. Stuff like that.

I would research the historical trends in the jackpot’s fluctuation, odds of a winner being declared given a pot of $X, etc., and base my decision on that. I couldn’t estimate without first researching the question.

Being the compassionate individual I am, I would sell the numbers to a kind, deserving and needy homeless person for oh, say $25.00 guaranteeing riches beyond their dreams. After receiving the $25, I would hit the homeless person over the head and toss them into a dumpster.

I wouldn’t worry about homeless person buying a ticket with the same numbers because I gave them bogus numbers.

I’d then buy the lottery ticket and claim whatever the prize might be, plus my $25 tax free profit.

I would just wait it out a few weeks, see what it goes up to, but I wouldn’t wait TOO long. 50 Million would be about right. It would buy my nice home in the country, oh maybe 25 acres of prime pasture land, with the propertyline bordering a state park/forest so there would be plenty of area for trail riding. I would have a nice log home built, and my pasture fenced with that pretty white plastic board fencing. Then I would have my dream stable built- maybe 20 stalls, with an indoor arena. I would fill 5 or 6 of those stalls with my dream horses, and the rest would remain open for rescue horses that I would rehabilitate and find loving homes for. I would also hire a really hunky farm manager to take care of it all. If he decided to do summer work without his shirt, there is a bonus in it for him. :wink:

My dogs would have an acre or 2 fenced in with a 6’ chain link, with an agility course built on it. I would give my closest friends a nice chunk of money or buy them a REALLY nice gift-car, boat, show dog or horse… whatever their interest was. I would make nice donations to several charities that I care about.

The rest would just stay in the bank so I could live off it while I pursued my passion of writing.

What a nice daydream!

You have to play immediately. What if you get hit by a truck before you can buy a ticket?