Winning the lottery is just the beginning

So you have just won the lottery…..then what?

In order to answer this question, you would have to analyze your personal situation. Different circumstances warrant different decisions. Take for example Mrs. Louise Outtings who won the Megabucks Lottery in Massachusetts a few years ago. She won a whopping 5.6 million dollars (projected winnings).

She wasn’t given the option of getting her winnings as a lump sum. In her case, she has no choice. The Massachusetts State Lottery Commission only gives out the winnings at 20 equal installments over a period of time. The thing is, Mrs. Outtings is not exactly a spring chicken – she was, at the time of her win, 94 years old! As such, she probably won’t live long enough to enjoy all her winnings.

However, that is such a special case. All things being equal, what should your choice be? Take the lump sum payment or extend it over a period of time? According to expert Rick Bloom, his general rule is to take the lump sum option. Again, this is considering that one’s situation is not exceptional. Why does he recommend this option?

Photo of Willie Baldwin courtesy of CT Lottery

Photo of Willie Baldwin courtesy of CT Lottery

First, consider the taxes. No matter which option you choose, you would still be taxed at the highest bracket. At present, the tax rate for lottery winnings would be about 39.5 percent. If you take out all your money you will have the chance to invest it and make it grow more. The applicable tax for this investment would then be only about 20 percent, which is a lot of savings for you.

If you make taxes your main consideration, it makes sense to merely take out the lump sum. It lowers your tax burden over the long run as you receive capital gains treatment and then have the chance of choosing your means of increasing your earnings.

Reese and family; photo courtesy of Georgia Lottery

Reese and family; photo courtesy of Georgia Lottery

However, you would also have to consider your investment savvy. Mismanaging lottery winning is one very common scenario. Having a windfall sometimes knocks the senses out of people. Still, having the payments staggered is not a guarantee of proper financial management. With that in mind, it would still be better to get the lump sum and employ the services of a financial adviser.

Whether you get the lump sum or extended payments, the bottom line is your financial sense. Taking the time to plan and make decisions is what will benefit you in the long run.

Carl Sampson is a professional poker player that plays online at and who also does the lottery

Odd ball things to do with the lottery

Let’s deviate from the numbers and all that math that people tend to focus on when talking about the lottery.  For you avid lottery enthusiasts out there, have you ever thought of revolutionary ways you could put a lottery ticket to use?  This post may strike others as funny, others useless.  It is up to you to decide but here are some different things we can do with a lottery ticket.

Do you go to convenience stores?  Probably yes, right?  If so, you’ve noticed those cans or boxes at the counter which serve as repositories for loose change that goes to charity.  How about adding a little twist?  Instead of merely giving your loose change, why not buy a scratch card and put it in with your loose change?  It may be a long shot but you never know!

Along these lines, do you give food or money to the vagrant you pass on the street?  Not many people do, but if you are one of them, why not buy another scratch card and keep it in your pocket for when someone asks you for money.  In addition to your usual dollar, give him the lottery ticket.  Again, you just might be changing that person’s life with that ticket – you never know.

I am sure many of you are shaking your heads in wonder – thinking if I am going nuts.  Really, no.  Long shots may seem impossible but there is always that chance.  In the next post, I’ll share more things to do with a lottery ticket.

Carl Sampson is a professional poker player who also plays online poker at and does the lottery

Trick? Or $1 Million Treat?

A Savannah, Georgia, resident realized this week that it was no trick when he found a forgotten lottery ticket that led to a major treat: a $1 million prize.

David Bramble, 42, matched the first five numbers from the July 9 Powerball drawing, winning a $1 million prize.

His lucky lottery ticket went unnoticed for three months.

“I had these tickets that were sitting in my car,” said Bramble, who claimed his prize Oct. 21.

He was at the grocery store Read more

Can you use strategy on the lottery?

Some people in the past have asked me to discuss strategies for beating the lottery. Well as a poker player then I am only interested in one thing and this is if my expectation is positive or not. When I play at sites like 888poker then I know that as long as I play in certain games that I will always be +EV even if certain players are better than me. I achieve this by selecting and using strategies that are not in common usage.

This type of strategy and thinking is what strategists call “contrarian” thinking. I believe that this can be applied to gambling games like the lottery for example although in no way can you ever become +EV in this form of gambling .

Pamela Peck and her husband clutch an over sized $1 million check.

The overwhelming number of people choose numbers lower than 31 simply because they choose birthdays. This means that should you be lucky enough to get five numbers or six numbers or five and the bonus ball that your average pay out will be less.

It would be terrible to get six numbers for what could be a life changing sum of money to find out that you are having to share it will around a hundred other people.

So you are far better off simply finding strategies and tactics that are not in common usage and this applies to any form of gambling and even to business. The lessons are clear because if you do what the masses do then you are likely to suffer like the masses do. The key is to be a contrarian thinker.

Carl Sampson is a professional poker player that play online at

What to do with lottery money

There are many things that a person can do with lottery winnings above and beyond merely spending (or blowing) the entire amount on themselves. The best use of lottery money whether we like it or not is not to use it on ourselves but to give back to the global community in some way.

Why not pool together a group of parents from your kid’s school and form a lottery syndicate with them? If you already know of parents who play the lottery just like you do, it would be an easy matter to get them together. Of course, you have to have a different cause this time. Why not play the lottery as syndicate with the ultimate goal of donating your winnings to some educational or co-curricular activity that would benefit your children?


Do you have a friend or family member with a birthday coming up? Why not, in addition to your gift, insert a lottery ticket? It is pretty much the same concept as giving a ticket to charity, you are actually giving a gift with a lot of potential! Of course, it would be great if the friend or loved one you are giving the ticket to is someone who appreciates the lottery. Otherwise, it might not be a good idea.

Now here’s the best idea of them all. This actually didn’t come from me. To be honest, I don’t even know if I agree with it or not. I read it in an article, this guy is suggesting that in addition to your offering in church on Sunday, put in a lottery ticket there. Ok, I get the intention but do you think this is a good idea? I don’t know.

Lawrence Brooks 010

My basic ideas would be to help kids and turn them into better adults by providing them with worthwhile pastimes in inner cities. To stop crime and poverty then we need to give our children a sense of purpose when they are young enough to absorb the teachings.

Carl Sampson is a professional poker player that plays online at

Lucky Times Two….For Massachusetts Player

Luck struck twice for a Norwood, Massachusetts, man who found out his lottery ticket had the winning numbers in a Massachusetts’ lottery game called Lucky For Life.

But here is the twist. He suddenly realized that he had another ticket with the same number.

Kenneth J. Stokes received a call from a Massachusetts State Lottery  that his Lucky for Life season ticket had won him a prize of $25,000 a year for life, according to a statement by the lottery.

After the call, Stokes realized that he had another Read more

Brooklyn Strong: Retired Carpenter Wins $1,000,000

Dariusz Bugnacki, of Brooklyn, New York, claimed a $1,000,000 second prize from the September 2 Mega Millions drawing on September 4. The 50-year-old “retired” carpenter originally from Poland, said he enjoys playing different Lottery draw games every day, he said.

Bugnacki said he went to his “lucky” convenience store. in Brooklyn to buy a Quick Pick ticket for that evening’s Mega Millions drawing. The next morning, he checked his numbers on the Lottery’s website.

“I started matching up the numbers and I felt light headed. I had to leave my computer and then come back to it. I had a hard time perceiving that it was real,” he explained.

It didn’t take long to find out the good news…he had won $1 million.

What Is Bonus Hunting?

The first online casinos were established 15 years ago. It was a revolutionary break-through in the gambling world. At first, the players didn’t dare to start playing at online casinos, because they didn’t understand how they worked, whether their money will be safe and how to register at the website. Nowadays, fifteen years later, the situation has changed: lots of players prefer online casinos to brick-and-mortar ones. The main reason is that it’s very convenient to play at the online casino. If you want to gamble while stuck in a traffic jam, all you need to do is to open your notebook, connected to the Internet, start a software program – and start enjoying your favorite games. The most famous manufacturers started making gaming software supported by mobile phones. Now playing has become even more convenient and easy. You can play your favorite games right on your mobile phone. All you have to do is to download casino application to your mobile phone, connect to the Internet and enjoy your game.

Read more

$228 Million Powerball Winner Scraped Together Nickels and Dimes to Play

A California nail technician who has played the lottery over the years by scraping together nickels and dimes from tips at the salon is now a multi-millionaire several times over.

His name is Vinh Nguyen, and he bought his Powerball winning $228.4 million ticket in San Mateo, California.

His first thought was, “I read the numbers, I didn’t think I had won.”

Nguyen declined media interviews. His age, city of residence and where he works have not been disclosed. However, people who work in the same mall said Nguyen works at Nail Resort, directly acros from the market.

In a private interview with lottery officials, Nguyen said he has been playing the lottery for the last half decade, deciding how much he spends every week depending on how well he does in tips at work.

Nguyen spent $30 buying 15 Powerball tickets for the big drawing. He decided on the “annuity payment option,” which will give him the full $228,467,735 jackpot paid out over 30 years. A lottery spokesman saidthat amount turns out to be about $138,000,000 spread out over three decades after taxes.

Ngueyn said there was no great secret Read more

Basic National Lottery Tips

Winning at any lottery is a tough thing, really.  Whether you are in the US or in Europe, the chances of winning in the lottery are very small.  However, when you do win, you want to win big.  These tips aim to help you do just that – win more when your numbers do come up.  These can’t help you increase your chances of winning the lottery.  Really, only buying more tickets can help you do that.

So how do you increase your winnings when you actually do win?  The bottom line is changing how you pick your numbers.  That is, avoid choosing numbers the way other people do.  One common thing people do is to pick numbers that just recently won.  They believe that this is lucky.  As such, if you do win, you will probably split the winnings with so many other people.

Lawrence Brooks 010

Another thing to avoid is to pick numbers based on an arithmetic sequence.  This is way too easy.  Too many people do this.  Have you ever used a tip service?  Well if you have, so have countless other people.  Imagine how many others you would have to split your prize if your number came up?  Now I don’t have to tell you about birthdays – I think we talked about that in another post.  Among the techniques people use when choosing numbers, this is perhaps the most used.  So stay away from that!

So what is the best way to pick numbers for the lottery? Do it at random!  Get a random number generator online.  You can even write down numbers on slips of paper and put them in a bag then do your own draw.  Just make it random.

Carl Sampson is a professional poker player that plays online at

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