UPDATED: Why Winning Powerball May Not be Worth It


California lottery officials say at least one ticket was sold with all six matching Powerball numbers for the $1.5 billion jackpot in Chino Hills.

Not all states have reported their results so it is not yet known at the time of this posting if other winning tickets that matched all of the numbers have been sold in other states.


No winners emerged after two major Powerball drawings.

Now, the jackpot has reached an unprecedented $1.5 billion.

People are flocking to buy tickets, but is a potential jackpot worth it?

$1.5 billion comes with a lot of strings attached.

But life as a billionaire could be a lot more simple if you bought your ticket in North Dakota as opposed to Minnesota.

They keep coming in West Fargo, people who normally don’t take the risk.

“Almost never play lottery,” says Ben Ferguson of West Fargo.

They’re stocking up on Powerball tickets like they’re going out of style.

What happens if you do win?

Financial Advisor Bruce Vangsnes says secrecy is the key.

“This is a crazy amount of money,” Vangsnes says. “It will forever change somebody’s life. If somebody knows who you are, you’re gonna have to vanish.”

If people find out, you become a target.

Vangnes warns, “You don’t want people lying behind your car as you’re backing out of your driveway, because you will become a magnet of the most frivolous things possible.”

That’s why Vagsnes says it may be better to buy Powerball tickets on this side of the river.

North Dakota is one of few states where lotto winners can remain anonymous.

People who buy their tickets in Minnesota must publically share their names.

Powerball player Jamie Weisenberger of West Fargo says, “I would definitely remain anonymous.”

People know the odds are against them, but they’re still coming out to play. At Eagle Run Crossing in West Fargo they’ve sold more than ten times as many Powerball tickets as they do during a normal day.

“It’s $20 bucks for 10 tickets. It gives you a 1 in 29 million chance of winning,” Ferguson says. “It’s a long shot, but becoming an instant almost billionaire isn’t that bad of a thing I suppose.”

Advisors say it’s not a bad thing, if you have a team in place with lawyers, financial advisors and tax experts who can manage your new wealth.

Vangsnes adds, “If you like your life then you gotta figure out ‘how do I keep my life’ if that’s what you want.”

So you can focus on what to spend your new fortune on without going broke.

“Probably get a new vehicle and pay off my house,” Ferguson adds, “but other than that…”

If you do win, experts say you may want to set up a trust so that the interest can provide a continuous source of income.

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