The Powerball® jackpot continues its stratospheric rise, now at an estimated $800 million annuity, $496 million cash option. As you know, that’s the record for the largest lottery prize ever offered in North America, and it’s not done yet. It’s likely that the estimate will be raised again before tomorrow night’s big drawing.
That’s got a lot of people thinking about what they would do if they won. Here at the Iowa Lottery, we give a packet of information to our biggest winners that includes a list of issues to consider, details about taxes, etc. The video above is part of that package. Click on the video to see the pointers we give to our winners of $1 million or more.
Things To Consider In Office Pools
Based upon the inquiries we’re getting, it looks like a lot of people are pooling their money to buy tickets as part of a group. We keep a list of pointers on our website. But here are some further details we’re sharing with folks this week:
1. The minimum age at which someone can buy a Powerball ticket in Iowa is 21. If there are folks in your workplace who are younger than 21, they cannot participate in your office pool. (We're not trying to be fun haters, that's the law.) If they were to contribute money towards the purchase of tickets, the legality of that purchase would be in question and any prize won could be invalid.
2. If you are the person buying the tickets for your office pool, you must use cash or a debit card. It is illegal in Iowa to use credit in the purchase of lottery tickets.
3. If one of your group-play tickets were to win the jackpot, the group as a whole must decide the big question: cash or annuity? Individual members can’t choose a mix of options.
Can I Remain Anonymous?
As the jackpot climbs higher, we’re also getting questions from people wondering if they can remain anonymous if they win the big jackpot in our state. Under Iowa law, lottery winners’ information is public, so it is not possible for winners to be anonymous here. And if you were to claim the prize as part of a trust or other legal entity such as a limited liability corporation, the name of that entity would be released along with the identities of the members in it.
What’s That About ‘Coverage’?
The odds of winning the jackpot in Powerball are about 1 in 292.2 million because there are about 292.2 million ways you can combine the numbers in the game to make a play. By tracking nationwide sales, lottery officials can estimate how many of all the possible combinations have been purchased for a particular drawing. The latest updates today show that about 65 percent of all the possible combinations have already been purchased for tomorrow's drawing.
Commemorative Message On Tickets
Just for fun, we’ve added a special message to the top of lotto tickets being sold in Iowa right now. They bear this message:
Special Commemorative Ticket
LARGEST U.S. JACKPOT EVER