Powerball at record $1.5 billion

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The next Powerball lottery drawing is now less than 10 hours away. The jackpot as of Wednesday morning: $1.5 billion. That’s “BILLION” with a “B”. It’s the largest jackpot prize ever for a lottery of any kind.

Mark Cuban (right) leading Dallas Mavericks fans during the 2014 NBA Playoffs. (YouTube)
Mark Cuban (right) leading Dallas Mavericks fans during the 2014 NBA Playoffs. (YouTube)

Mark Cuban, flamboyant owner of the Dallas Mavericks and one of the sharks on the TV show Shark Tank, gave the Dallas Morning News some tips for the person that wins the Powerball.
Tip #1: Hire a tax attorney — ASAP.
Tip #2: Don’t take the lump sum. You don’t want to blow it all.
Tip #3: Tell all your friends and relatives “No.” You know the people closest to you, who needs help and how much, so learn to say no.
Tip #4: You’re not an investor so don’t start investing in the stock market or your friend Bob’s crazy scheme to open a chain of video rental stores or other crazy ventures.

The electronic signs don't accommodate for a jackpot of more than $999 million. (Claudia Gestro)
The electronic signs don’t accommodate for a jackpot of more than $999 million. (Claudia Gestro)

Cuban also said if you were unhappy yesterday, you’ll be unhappy tomorrow. It’s just money, not happiness. Conversely, if you’re happy this morning, you’ll be happier tomorrow morning.

In El Segundo, our sports reporter Claudia Gestro spoke to a clerk at a Circle K who said the convenience store sold 2,000 separate Powerball purchases in two hours. Many people were spending $20 or more on each purchase and some were buying hundreds of dollars of tickets at a time.

Multiply that around the city, the state and the country and you know this is really big and the final tally for the jackpot will be a lot more than $1.5 billion. It could top $2 billion.

Here’s the other reality: there’s the chance that more than one ticket hits all the correct number. In which case you’ll have to share. If the winner (or winners) takes the lump sum payout it would be just over $600 million after the lump sum penalty and taxes. So if three tickets win, anyone taking the lump sum would get a third of that.

Calottery website page for the Powerball, as of Wednesday Morning. (Tim Forkes)
Calottery website page for the Powerball, as of Wednesday Morning. (Tim Forkes)

If the winner opts for the 30-year installment, you could stand to get $40 million or more a year for 30 years. Split three ways it still is a nice income and puts you in the infamous “one percent” of top income earners.

The odds are against you though: you have a 1 in 292 million chance, regardless of how many tickets you buy.

The Final Tip, the one that Calottery says is most important: fill out the back of your ticket and sign it. If you lose it and someone gets it, then the ticket will still be yours, if the back is filled out. If the back is empty, it belongs to the person who redeems it.

Claudia Gestro contributed to this article.
Top photo by Tim Forkes

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