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Lotto Powerball $42m: Thousands are buying tickets but do your odds change?

Winning the Lotto Odds

Are you thinking about how sweet a $42 million lotto win would look in your bank account but put off by the thought of your chances depleting as ticket sales skyrocket?

Well, you’d be wrong because the chances of you winning remain the same – whether 10 people or 10 million buy a Lotto ticket.

Despite the thought of Lotto being a stupidity tax, many Kiwis come out in droves to buy a ticket when the jackpot reaches mammoth levels.

Tomorrow night, the nation will learn whether the second-largest Powerball prize of $42m was snapped up by a lucky winner or winners.

And with millions expected to buy tickets, you might think to yourself your chances of winning slowly decrease with every extra ticket sale.

But you’re wrong in thinking so, University of Otago statistician Dr Matthew Perry told the Herald.

“The probability of winning doesn’t change, that’s always fixed no matter how many people are playing in the lottery,” he said.

“It just depends on the numbers that come out [but the] more people play, more people are likely to win so, therefore, your payout slightly gets smaller.”

Powerball Lotto


But don’t let that fool you, your chances of winning Lotto Powerball still remain slim at around one in 38 million.

However, if you did manage to bag the monster prize and put it straight into the bank, you could make a yearly income of $844,000.

If you put the $42m in the bank with 3 per cent interest, you could earn a whopping $1,260,000 in interest each year.

And the tax would not even take out a large bite of your earnings, assuming the cash was being earned directly and not through a company.

Of the $1.26m, around $416,000 would be lost in tax, leaving you with about $844,000 in your bank account.

The winner would not even be forced to pay tax on the prize if they were a New Zealand tax resident, KPMG partner in tax Peter Scott said.

The moments following a massive prize such as Powerball winnings were very important, Craig Offwood from ANZ’s Private Bank team said.

“It’s definitely not a time to make any rash decisions,” he said.

“From our experience, it’s clear what winners do with their prize has a huge impact on the rest of their lives.”

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In the past, ANZ had dealt with New Zealand’s current-second-largest Lotto winner who won $33m and another winner who won $17m.

Seeking professional advice was an important step in the days after people came into a significant amount of money, Offwood said.

“Many people will inherit money at some point in their life, and although the sum may be less than a Lotto jackpot, the challenge is always the same,” he said.

“Over the years, we have seen some great success stories. Equally, there have been some cases where they have squandered their jackpot.

“After failing to heed advice, they have gone on a spending spree with the unfortunate belief the winnings would last forever.

“The last thing you want is to find yourself with no money in 10 years’ time.”

Some tips from ANZ for customers who come into money

  • Consider putting the money into an interest-earning bank account. By all means, treat yourself to a nice dinner or bottle of champagne but carefully consider your options before you make any big decisions.
  • Seek professional advice. It is important to find legal, investment and accounting experts who have proven experience in helping people who have experienced a similar life-changing event.
  • Keep your circle of trust tight. It can be a big mistake to tell too many people about winning lotto, including sometimes relatives. They may expect you to share your winnings with them and this can lead to problems.
  • Consider investing in assets that will provide a steady income. Get advice on assets that provide income that will grow and compound over the long term and could provide you with income for the rest of your life.

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