If you’re lucky enough to win a jackpot prize, you want to plan ahead for the financial implications. This includes paying taxes, whether you take a lump-sum or long-term payout. Talk to a qualified accountant of your choice to help you do this.
The growing number of jackpots in the United States is due to a few things, experts say. First, lottery organizers have become better at making the odds of winning a big jackpot more difficult. They’ve also raised the prices of tickets. This lets money accumulate more quickly, says Victor Matheson, an economics professor at the College of the Holy Cross who studies lotteries.
That’s part of a larger effort to drive more people into the game by increasing the odds of winning. Moreover, jackpots are a huge source of free publicity for lottery draws. The more newsworthy they are, the more players they attract.
It’s a strategy that works well for the two biggest American lotteries, Mega Millions and Powerball. They have increased their jackpots several times in the past few years, and that’s helped drive their popularity.
Another reason the jackpots are rising is that the number of players has grown. That’s a result of the expansion of multi-state lottery associations, which began to form in the 1980s. These groups were formed out of frustration from residents in smaller states who wanted to play a bigger jackpot but couldn’t because they crossed state lines.
A third factor is that more people are buying tickets online and using mobile apps. The number of online lottery sites has grown by tens of percent in the past five years. That’s helped increase the number of players, but it’s also led to more fraud.
The odds of winning a large jackpot are much lower than you might think, says Mr. Cohen, who has written a book on the subject. That’s because people tend to pick numbers from a similar range.
They also tend to pick numbers that end with the same digit or fall in the same number group. While these aren’t necessarily bad choices, they can make you more likely to split your winnings if you win.
You can also buy a lotto ticket from the convenience of your own home, through an app called Jackpocket. It’s available in English and Spanish for Android and iPhone devices, but you must be 18 or older to participate.
The Jackpocket app will verify your age by asking you to scan a photo ID or manually enter applicable information, according to its website. The app uses your phone’s location services to determine which states you are in, and then allows you to participate in games from those states.
Having a winning lottery ticket can feel like the biggest moment of your life. But the reality is that you’re just one person. So be sure to put together a plan for how you’d like your life to change, including debt repayment plans and the amount of money you’ll need for expenses.