Being a US lottery winner is a big deal. You wait for the lottery draw announcement and you are desperate to know who has won the great Mega Millions or Power ball jackpot. But the probability of the game and the odds are often not in your favour. So when the largest-ever lottery prize is finally awarded, the winners and losers will extend well beyond the lucky few who hit the jackpot and the multitudes of disappointed ticket buyers. If you wish to look at such winners and losers then do not get disappointed to read the true facts.
State Government are the winners
The biggest Powerball winner is actually state government in the jurisdictions that participate. That’s 44 states as well as the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Each jurisdiction spends the money raised through the lottery differently, with the rules determined by state Legislatures. In some states, the money goes directly to education or college scholarships. Elsewhere, it might fund transportation. Some states send it to their general fund, where lawmakers decide how to use it.
The money raised by a state depends on ticket sales, with larger-population states usually generating more money.
In fiscal year 2016, for example, Powerball and other lottery games generated$366.9 million for Iowa’s general fund. he California State Lottery has raised more than $30.9 billion for public education, including a record of more than $1.5 billion in Fiscal Year 2015-16. So who is the winner?
Convenience store owners are the winners too
Owners of convenience stores and other ticket-selling locations earn a small percentage of each sale, but more important, people often buy something extra when they stop for Powerball tickets.
The Kum and Go chain, which has 430 gas stations and convenience stores in 11 mostly Midwestern states, has seen a significant increase in sales from the Powerball rush. At the tiny Marketplace shop in downtown Des Moines, owner Anastasia Walsh said her overall sales have been up about 10 percent in recent weeks because of all the Powerball sales. Same sales for lottery were high in Texas Wichita Falls Lotus Convenience store. You can see players lined up to buy the lottery tickets.
There are winners of smaller prizes
Lottery officials often note that while the jackpot gets all the attention, far more players get a nice consolation prize of $1 million for matching the five white balls but missing the Powerball. And if they pay an extra dollar when they buy their ticket, that prize can double to $2 million.
It is common to see that, 25 people match the five numbers and win $1 million, and three players pay the extra buck and win $2 million. Players also receive much smaller prizes for matching as few as three numbers or just the Powerball.
The Actual winners are also on the list
As more people play Powerball, the chances for a winner improve, simply because more of the 292.2 million possible number combinations are covered. The chances also grow that more than one person will match the five white balls and one red Powerball, meaning the prize could be divvied up between two or more winners.
A single winner could choose between an annuity paying $1.5 billion over 30 years or a lump sum of $930 million. Those figures are before federal and state taxes, which generally eat up close to half of the money.
So who are the losers then?
It is not surprising that the calls to the Washington-based National Council on Problem Gambling’s help line have soared, largely because of interest in the Powerball jackpot. The surge in interest in Powerball is especially difficult on people who have managed to stop gambling but now find their friends and co-workers talking about the big prize.
The game is glamorous and if everyone is doing then why not you is the question for many?
Statisticians are also the losers
Also those who study statistics and other forms of math are losers as so many people across the country dream of a prize against all odds. “The odds are so large,” said Scott A. Norris, an assistant professor of mathematics at Southern Methodist University, “that people don’t have any sense of what they mean.”
The odds of 1 in 292.2 million are even worse than the 1 in 175 million odds that were in place until last fall, when the Powerball system was changed to build bigger jackpots.
Well, some gain some lose this is the game. But it is you who have to decide how to play, when to play and sticking to your bankroll.