In 2017, a health worker in Massachusetts won the Powerball jackpot for $759 million. She was given a choice of how to take the money: as an annuity or as
a lump sum. Choosing the annuity option distributes the jackpot over 30 payments, which increases by 5% each year to keep up with the cost of living. To see
an example of how this annuity works, please go to: Powerball Annuity Cashflow Calculator.
The lump sum method means taking the entire cash value at once, but there’s a catch: The lump sum is less than the value of the total jackpot. For the
winner, the lump sum meant she would receive $480 million or $336 million after taxes.
The health care worker, Ms. Mavis L. Wanczyk, age 53, quit her job, came forward immediately and without consulting with a financial advisor or counsel
chose the lump sum method of collecting her winnings.
Based on what you have learned in week 4, would you have done anything different than Ms. Wanczyk? Would you rather have preferred a structured payout
(annuity) per year for the next 30 years or accept the money upfront and pay all the taxes in the year you won? What factors would you consider in making
your decision? Would you have quit your job? Would you have consulted with a financial advisor or tax or legal counsel? Does your age matter (if you died, the
annuity payments would continue to be paid to your estate)? Please discuss.…