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There’s no way to guarantee winning money on Powerball

New York Post

Originally Posted: January 11, 2016

For all you wise guys thinking of buying every Powerball combo and scooping up a guaranteed $1.3 billion: Think again.

Professional numbers crunchers have done the math and found there’s no way for a New York Powerball player to land in the black by snatching up every possible lottery number, even with this record prize coming up on Wednesday.

There are 292.2 million combinations of the five numbers plus one Powerball number in the game — which means a gambler could spend $584.4 million to guarantee a win by buying every set of numbers.

It may seem like a no-brainer investment, considering the payoff will be at least $1.3 billion. But buying every number would actually be a sucker bet.

Even if playing every number were possible — and experts say it’s not — the winnings could be cut down to just $806 million with a lump-sum payout.

That would be further reduced through taxes. A winner in New York City would take home $502.1 million after taxes, while a state resident outside Gotham would pocket $533.4 million, according to officials.

As bad of a loss as that would be, the real hurt would come if even one other person shared the jackpot by also picking the winning numbers. That would cut the winning prize in half.

Of course, a winner could take the payout over time, which would give them $1.3 billion total. But that would take 29 years of annual payments to collect. It would be much better to just invest the $584 million.

“They’re not stupid,” Scott Norris, a professor of applied mathematics at Southern Methodist University in Texas, said of lottery organizers. “You’re much better off going to a casino.”

The hardest part, though, would be the physical act of buying 292.2 million lottery tickets. READ MORE