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Friday
Mar302012

You Won The Lottery: All Cash, Or Installments--Which Is Best?

LA couple Dan and Christine Bruckner won $208 Million in the New York Mega Millions jackpot in January, and took the lump sum payment.

Everyone's buzzing about the Mega Millions $540 $640 Million draw. But it poses a problem.

The top prize is made up of a cash amount gained from tickets sold in the game. For the draw tomorrow that lump cash amount is currently $389 $462 Million.

The lottery organisation then figures out how much interest they can get for the next 26 years, and add this to the cash amount. This gives the widely advertised main prize of $540 $640 million - also available in 26 annual payments called an Annuity. 

 
So which is best - all cash or annual payments? Take the poll - then read on for some answers...

Your decision will probably boil down to your age.

If you win later in life (60+), you'll get more value with a Cash Option.

If you're young, your decision will depend on whether you're going to live for the full term.

A lot of people don't realize that when a win enters their life, most winners change their lifestyle. They experience more travel, drink and eat more, buy toys - like planes and fast cars - and take more risk. So their life expectancy may not be that easy to predict.

You can take advice. There are websites that calculate the opportunity cost of a Cash Option or an Annuity.

But while that's fine for a million or two - for this huge sum of money, I believe you're better off getting it all now!

 

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