For Powerball winner, lots to consider
Here is some advice for Wednesday’s Powerball winner, assuming someone overcomes the infinitesimally long odds (of about 1 in 292 million) and wins the record $1.5 billion jackpot.
Take your time to come forward and use that time to consult a lawyer, financial adviser and even possibly a private security consultant. All prizes must be collected within 180 calendar days, said Valerie Guglielmo of the Connecticut Lottery.
Don’t claim under your real name. While the Connecticut Lottery loves to promote “winner’s stories,’’ there is no requirement that your identity must be disclosed.
“Periodically, winners do come forward using other legal entities (i.e., trusts, business partnership) to claim their prizes. In those instances, the Lottery will promote the win using that legal entity’s name,’’ the lottery’s website states.
You’ll need a tax adviser, too. Guglielmo said that the Connecticut Lottery takes out the minimum tax required, which is a 25 percent cut for the federal government and 6.7 percent for the state, from winning tickets sold in Connecticut. “That applies to winners who live in or out of state,’’ she said.
What if you buy your winning ticket in New York or Massachusetts?
“What the winner’s tax obligation is to their home state, we would not be able to answer,’’ the lottery spokeswoman said.
If one person wins the entire $1.5 billion, “it would be time to think about your legacy at that point,’’ said financial planner Jim Lambert, owner of First Choice Consulting Inc. in Milford. “You know you’ll have enough money for the rest of your life.’’
Lambert recommends setting up annuities for your children, investing for growth and using life insurance as an investment tool.
But the Milford financial planner recommends taking all of the Powerball jackpot up front, as a lump sum payout. That would be a record $868 million before taxes, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association, which administers Powerball for the 47 participating states.
“I’d take it as a lump sum and set it up the way I want, under my protection,’’ Lambert said. “Most people would want control of that money.’’
As the Powerball jackpot has increased, so have tickets sold for the game in Connecticut. For the Nov. 7 drawing, with a $40 million jackpot, the Connecticut Lottery had Powerball sales of $403,598, Guglielmo said. Sales actually dropped for the Nov. 11 drawing for $50 million, and didn’t really start ramping up until the jackpot hit $202 million on Dec. 19.
The Connecticut Lottery sold nearly 364,000 of the $2 tickets for that drawing.
“Sales velocity is always related to the size of the jackpot,’’ Guglielmo observed. More than $1.5 million of tickets were sold for the $355 million jackpot on Jan. 2; it jumped to $5.2 million for the $528 million jackpot last Wednesday and to $12 million for Saturday’s $948 million pot.
What are the odds?
... of winning the Powerball jackpot? 1 in 292 million
... of living to 100? If you were born in 1986, 1 in 6
... of being struck by lightning? 1 in 1 million
... of dying of cancer? 1 in 7
... of being murdered? 1 in 18,989
... of being killed in a tornado? 1 in 5.7 million
... of being left-handed? 1 in 10
(Statistics are for the United States as a whole and for both genders, from www.discovertheodds.com
Fairfield County’s biggest Powerball sellers:
Start Sales Date
End Sales Date
Stew Leonard`s Norwalk
100 Westport Ave
KEANS KORNER LLC
16 South Ave
200 Tunxis Hill Rd
BULL`S HEAD CIGAR
51 High Ridge Rd
1324 E Putnam Ave
320 Shippan Avenue
SCOOTER`S DELI MART
484 BRIDGEPORT AVE
Grocery Express LLC
1429 E Putnam Ave
345 GREENWICH AVE
401 PUTNAM INC.
401 WEST PUTNAM AVE
Source: Connecticut Lottery
TOP POWERBALL RECORD JACKPOTS
1. $590.5 Million May 18, 2013 Gloria C. Mackenzie; Zephyrhills, FL
2. $587.5 Million Nov. 28, 2012 Matthew Good; Phoenix, AZ; Cindy/Mark Hill; Dearborn, MO
Source: Multi-State Lottery Association