, 2022-07-28 16:00:00,
The latest Mega Millions lottery jackpot has passed $1 billion for only the third time in the lottery game’s 26-year history. That’s, well, a lot of money.
How much? Here’s one way to think about it: Let’s say you’ve just scored a dream salary of $1 million a year. Go, you! So, at that blistering pace, just how long would it take you to earn a billion dollars in total salary?
Oh, only a thousand years.
So it’s not surprising that when a potential shortcut to big-time riches is dangled in front of us, we reach for it. Somebody’s going to win that jackpot, so why not us? And if we don’t, that $2 was worth the daydreams it spawned. Right? Right?
Stay with me here. If you’re having trouble daydreaming, I’ve got some starter ideas for you. Most aren’t practical, or even socially responsible. Some might be called vulgar. Still, I think you’ll find they’re kinda fun to think about.
We’re NerdWallet, so allow us a sober moment here before we drift off fully into dreamland. Here’s a bit about what a “billion-dollar jackpot” really means, and what you do should any large sum of money magically fall into your hands.
- How much do I really get? As I write this, the Mega Millions jackpot for the Friday, July 29, draw is $1.02 billion. But you don’t actually get all that money if you win. Oh, no. If you choose a lump sum, you get $602.5 million. Or you can spread that billion bucks over 30 years, hauling in about $15 million the first year and going up gradually in subsequent years. What’ll it be?
- Do I have to pay taxes? Of course you do. There’s 24% in federal taxes off the top, probably more down the road, plus state income taxes where they apply.
- What are my chances of winning? Sorry, but you asked. They’re roughly 1 in 303 million.
If you do win, or otherwise become instantly wealthy, please don’t rush off and do any of the things on this list without first getting some real, trusted financial and tax advice. And lay low until you figure this all out. A billion dollars should last a while if you play it right. And if you’re still tempted to blow it all at once, read one of the countless lottery horror stories on the web. Murder! Divorce! Bankruptcy! Betrayal! Endless, soul-sucking legal proceedings! (Trust me, just search for “lottery horror stories.”)
Individual reality checks are offered for…
To read the original article, go to Click here