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Lottery players rushing to play Mega Millions

Jul 1, 2004, 8:21 am

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Mega MillionsMega Millions: Lottery players rushing to play Mega Millions

Wracking your brain to decide on a combination of numbers to unlock Friday's record $280 million Mega Millions jackpot? Relax. Most lottery winners in Ohio let the computer do the work.

That's because as many as 75 percent of Ohio lottery players rely on random numbers picked by computer, said Mike Bycko, spokesman for Ohio Lottery.

Though some lottery hopefuls might use birthdays or lucky numbers when buying tickets, most find "auto lotto" an easy and fast way to choose.

As of 3 p.m. Wednesday, $107,000 worth of lottery tickets were being sold in Ohio per hour - more than twice the pace from the morning, Bycko said.

The rush is because nobody matched all six numbers in Tuesday's Mega Millions drawing, which boasted a $220 million jackpot.

Cirila Kermavner of Cleveland stopped by Dave's Supermarket on Payne Avenue Wednesday to purchase her weekly ticket.

She is sticking to her one-ticket-a-week plan, despite the unusually high jackpot that could be decided 11 p.m. Friday.

"I always say, 'One is enough. If you're going to win, you're going to win,' " she said.

Kermavner said she lets the computer pick her numbers because she doesn't like to think about it.

If she matches all six numbers, she will have something to think about: whether to receive her money at once - and lose a significant amount of her winnings - or take 26 annual increments. In either case, 28.5 percent of the jackpot is taken out for taxes.

If a Mega Millions winner wants a lump-sum check, he or she receives the jackpot's "estimated cash value" minus taxes. That value equals the money that the 11 Mega-Millions states have to invest, based on current interest rates, over 26 years to pay off the jackpot, Bycko said.

Friday's $280 million jackpot has an estimated cash value of $155.9 million, he said. After accounting for taxes, the one-time check would be for about $112 million.

But, Bycko asks, "Who wouldn't take the lump sum?"

Most winners take it so they have control over their money, he said.

The previous record Mega Millions jackpot was $239 million in February.

Plain Dealer

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2 comments. Last comment 16 years ago by whodeani.
Page 1 of 1
vincejr's avatar - wallace
Somewhere in VA
United States
Member #1944
July 29, 2003
130 Posts
Posted: July 1, 2004, 10:06 am - IP Logged

--But, Bycko asks, "Who wou

    whodeani's avatar - lightening

    United States
    Member #2484
    October 9, 2003
    212 Posts
    Posted: July 1, 2004, 12:30 pm - IP Logged

    "If she matches all six numbers, she will have something to think about: whether to receive her money at once - and lose a significant amount of her winnings - or take 26 annual increments."

    This statement is so misleading or the person who wrote this article doesn't know what the heck he or she is talking about. You don't lose any amount of money by taking the lump sum. When you take the lump sum you are getting the same amount that the lottery commission puts into an account and invests (minus the taxes). The only difference is you have it, the lottery doesn't. In my opinion, you lose a portion of your winnings by taking the annuity. You lose some money because you can bet a better rate of return than the lottery will and a better chance of having more in the end. In addition, the annuity payments you will get will not be adjusted for inflation. All the lottery is going to do is guarantee that you get $280 million after 30 years. But that $280 million is based on what it was worth today and not 30 years from now in which you will actually be getting less than $280 million.