The strangest thing I saw in the news today is that someone in South Carolina won over a billion dollars in a lottery. Billion with a B. What the heck? Did people really put over 1.5 billion dollars of their own money into playing the lottery so one lucky person can become instantly uber rich? Yes. I usually ignore lottery winning stories, but this one is surpising enough that it gets today’s True Strange News award.
The winner, who chose to remain anonymous, said through a lawyer that they allowed another customer to cut them in line before buying their ticket for the Oct. 23, 2018, Mega Millions drawing at KC Mart in Simpsonville. – UPI
According to Wikipedia, this win is the largest by any single ticket for a lottery. The huge $1,537 million dollar prize ($1.537 billion) has a cash value of $877,800,000 ($877.8 million) if the winner decides to take the cash option and get paid all at once.
After state, local and federal taxes the annonymous winner will have about $250 dollars left.
When a winner in Massachusetts took home the $758.7 million Powerball jackpot, she took the lump sum value of $480.5 million and got to actually take home $336 million after taxes, which is less than half of the original winning amount.
Some states do not tax income, but South Carolina does (it is currently about 7% at the top bracket).
What would you do with a $400 million dollars or so? Should jackpots be allowed to get this big? I have mixed feelings about it.
Here’s what a billion dollars looks like, in case you are curious. It is ten crates (48x48x48) of $100 bills.
Visualize this billion dollars appearing in your garage. Can you completely convince yourself for a few seconds that you have this amount of cash? Try it as an experiment. How does it make you feel? I can’t find the research now, but I once read that this exercise can boost your health and happiness.
Of course there are much better things than money and there are many things money can’t buy, but knowing you have sufficient resources to help others and to provide for your family is a good feeling.
I never play the lottery. That means the first time I ever do, I will be guaranteed to win a billion dollars. I’m just waiting for the right time. 😉
Added: Also of note in the “strange winning of money news” category is this recent item: A retiring Georgia high school teacher won $10,000 for reading the fine print in an insurance policy due to a hidden contest.
The St. Petersburg-based company [Squaremouth] says it launched the secret contest Feb. 11. Buried in the fine print was a promise of $10,000 for the first person to send an email to a specific address. – SFGate