With the Connecticut PowerBall now up to $420 million, I've come up with a good way to rationalize spending money on buying tickets for something I've got pretty much a zero chance of winning. I collect all the plastic water bottles and seltzer cans our family accumulates and redeem them.
Right now I have about 3 large bags of them. I'll go over to Stop & Shop can/bottle center and spend about half an hour to get sometimes as much as $10-that's 200 cans and bottles. Then I get as many $2 lottery tickets as I can depending on how much I actually get.
I know the odds are about 300 million to 1 of winning the big prize but another way to look at it is someone has to win, right? It might as well be me. Besides there are numerous lesser amounts with better odds. For example with the right amount of winning numbers combined with the PowerBall number which I've gotten several times, it's possible to win several hundred or thousand or even a million dollars.
The down side-if there is a down side-is that you don't get the $420 million in one lump sum. That much money is paid out in the form of a 20-year annuity. If you want a lump sum, you get a lesser amount-like about $250 million. Subtract from that state and federal income taxes and you eventually end up with about $150 million. That's a long way from the original $420. But I think I'll take it anyway.
I've read articles that follow people's lives after winning huge amounts of money. What happens to many of them is not very pleasant. But the way I look at it is by the time my family gets their hands on it, I'll be pretty much back to square one anyway so what the heck. Go ahead, fate. Let me win!!