The jackpot for this week’s Mega-Millions has gotten so big you can’t not buy a ticket.
But when fantasizing about winning, make sure to decide between lump sum and annuity.
Mega Millions describes your options: “Annuity option: Provides annual payments over a 26-year period. For every $1,000,000 in the jackpot, you will receive approximately $38,500 per year before taxes. Cash option: A one-time, lump-sum payment that is equal to all the cash in the Mega Millions jackpot prize pool.”
For this week’s lottery, that equates to a pretax lump payment of $359.4 million versus the full $500 million (before taxes) paid out over 26 years.
Business Insider’s Joe Wiesenthal knows what he’d do: “It’s really not that much less money (if you take the lump sum). What difference is $100 million? Nothing. Also, if you take the annuity, you’re assuming the state will stick around long enough to keep paying out.”