Reader’s Poll Results – Winning the Lottery

Who Would You Tell?

Awhile ago you guys were asked who you would tell if you won the lottery.  Here are the results. Thanks to everyone who voted. 🙂



Roughly a quarter of readers said they will keep the secret to themselves. I happen to be in this category as well. But I would tell my spouse if I had one. I think she would eventually find out sooner or later. Half of the people polled feel the same way and would tell their immediate family members. Only 4.6% would post it on Facebook and don’t mind if all their friends knew. We all have our reasons for how we voted. I personally think nothing bad will happen if nobody knows you’re rich. 🙂 But you can obviously put money to good use anytime.

Last month 3 tickets split the record $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot in the U.S. The winners have 60 days to make a decision on whether they want to take the lump sum payment, or the annuity payments spread out through 29 years, a dilemma most people wouldn’t mind having.

Option 1: Lump Sum

  • Divided among the 3 tickets, each cash lump sum will be $310 million.
  • The winner would get their money right away, but pay 40% in taxes. (The IRS taxes lottery winnings like income tax)
  • After tax lump sum will be $187 million for each winning ticket.

Option 2: Annuity Certain

  • Winning ticket holders will receive 30 payments over the next 29 years.
  • The first payment of $7.5 million will be made immediately, and slowly increase with interest to about $31 million on the final payment, with a combined total of $529 million.
  • If the winner dies the annuity payments will continue and go into his or her estate to be passed on to any heirs.
  • Powerball invests the entire cash value of the annuity in various U.S. government securities. The winner won’t be taxed on investment income within the annuity because Powerball will be the entity investing the money.

I would probably go with option 2 and choose the annuity over the lump sum just for the tax savings. 🙂 Which would you choose?

Random Useless Fact



By the way, I’m currently on vacation in the Caribbean right now and won’t be back until next week so I won’t be very active on the blog in the meantime. 🙂

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sherry @ save. spend. splurge.
02/22/2016 6:33 am

I’d take the first option. $310 compounded over 30 years at even at a paltry 2% interest is $561 at the end.

I am pretty sure I could do better than 2% over 30 years, and even if I ate away at the principal, I’d have to be spending a million a year to make any real dent in the money.

My main point is: Why give the money to someone else to earn the interest off on, when you can pocket the money yourself…? This is why I only keep a major emergency fund in savings at the bank if I have to (e.g. not on contract), otherwise I just invest every penny.

02/22/2016 7:15 am

@Sherry — re-read the article: “After tax lump sum will be $187 million for each winning ticket.” — not $310MM.
As I said, beneficial for 99%…

02/22/2016 7:09 am

If you win the lottery, you eventually have to tell everyone via the prerequisite media scrum.

(As a side note, and noted in other postings…you say would keep a fantasy lotto winning a secret yet you are in fully advertized social media mode (and regular media) consciously showing off your real life wealth. Cognitive dissonance alert.)

It would be most beneficial for 99% of winners to take the annual distribution. If you are an older winner, as stated, the remaining payments go to your heirs. Getting a lump sum guarantees you nothing.

Enjoy the sun.

02/22/2016 9:02 am
Reply to  Anon

The thing is Liquid is blogging anonymously about his real life wealth to provide an interesting look into one’s finance. His real life coworkers, friends, relatives or even parents doesn’t know about his blogging life.

02/22/2016 11:57 am
Reply to  P C
02/22/2016 11:34 am

I’d definitely go with option 2. Getting a few millions each year will be sufficient for us. No need to take a lump sum and having the pressure to spend that money.

Taking over my portfolio
Taking over my portfolio
02/23/2016 6:40 am

At my age, I would take the lump sum (49 years old) and I would be able to enjoy it and see the faces of the people I give it to. When I am dead, I won’t be able to see them enjoy it and spend it. The whole idea of giving it away is to see them enjoy it, no?

Financial Underdog
Financial Underdog
02/23/2016 8:58 pm

I’d go with option number two. The reason being is because even the first payment would be enough to change our life financially, and the rest of the money down the road would be simply a bonus.

02/24/2016 8:48 am

It’s awesome to get away from the cold weather! Caribbean is great! I took a cruise trip once year, it was nice to just instantly enjoy the 70-80s temp.

I’d take option 1. I like to have control of my money, however the lottery winners that took option 1, most of them went broke after 5 years, haha. Imagine that!

02/24/2016 4:30 pm

Lump sum all the way! You’re going to be taxed heavily each year on the annuity as well so I don’t think you’ll gain much of a savings there. You could invest it in so many different ways and live off the interest indefinitely.

02/24/2016 5:52 pm
Reply to  Stephen

You’ll be getting $187MM lump sum…why the fudge would you invest even one dollar of it?! You could live off the capital indefinitely without the headache of investments, taxes, financial “professionals”, etc.

02/24/2016 5:57 pm
Reply to  Stephen

The annuity payments are not taxed. Amazes me how many people don’t read. If you can’t live a seriously awesome life on a minimum of $7.5MM a year, there is something seriously wrong.