If you win the lottery, you have two options for your prize: you can choose to receive it in a lump sum or an annuity paid out over decades. The choice can impact the total amount you get by millions of dollars. That’s because lottery jackpot amounts are based on annuities, and the amount of the annuity depends on the current interest rate. During the Federal Reserve’s remarkable run of rate increases, the size of the advertised jackpot has increased dramatically.
The odds of winning a lottery jackpot are slim, but there are some small things you can do to tip the long odds in your favor. One important thing is to use the rule of Occam’s razor, which says that the simplest solution is often the best.
You can also increase your chances of winning by playing regularly, but be sure to play for the jackpot only. Many state lotteries offer a wager type called Just the Jackpot, which lets you play for the grand prize only at a discounted price of $3.
Finally, if you do win the lottery, be prepared to spend much of your prize, even if you choose the lump sum option. The best way to handle a large sum is with a team of professionals, including an attorney, accountant and financial planner. The right advisers can help you weigh your choices, such as whether to tell the world about your big win or keep it to yourself.