- What happens to the prize money if you die before getting it all?
- Does anyone else get your quick-pick numbers - or are they exclusive to you?
- And who decides what amount the Powerball jackpot should be?
Here's some answers to those and other intriguing questions about the lottery, Powerball and Mega Millions from the Minnesota Lottery site that might surprise you. (The 6th question is one that many people wonder about):
Q. Is it true that the odds of winning the lottery are worse than being killed by lightning?
A. Many people win $1 million or more playing North American lotteries than are killed by lightning. In addition, there’s no second prize in a lightning strike. In a lottery, you win lesser amounts of money by coming close to the winning numbers.
Q. If I die before I receive all the payments from a Lottery prize, like the Powerball jackpot, will my heirs receive the rest of my prize money?
A. Yes. Payments continue to the winner's estate until exhausted. If the winner dies before the minimum number of payments has been made, payments continue until the minimum is reached.
Q. If I buy a quick-pick ticket, can anyone else get those numbers?
A. Yes, more than one person can receive the same quick-pick numbers. Quick-picks are randomly generated by the terminal at the retailer and there is no central computer that is controlling their generation.
Q. Where is the Powerball prize money kept until it is paid out? Is there any chance that something could happen to it before the 30-year payout period ends?
A. Guaranteed government-backed securities are purchased to fund the 30-year liability after a player elects to receive the Powerball jackpot prize over 30 years.
Q. Who decides how much the Powerball jackpot should be and how is it figured?
A. It is a percentage of the sales for each individual drawing. Fifty percent of ticket sales goes to the entire prize pool. In addition, game rules specify that the minimum jackpot prize in Powerball is $40 million and the minimum increase from draw to draw is $10 million.
Q. Why not pay 50 Powerball winners $1 million each, instead of $50 million to one winner?
A. People want to play for the big jackpots. Sales at the $200 million jackpot level are 3 times what they are at the $40 million jackpot level. Powerball and Mega Millions are the big jackpot games, Hot Lotto jackpots start at $1 million, Gopher 5 jackpots start at $100,000, and Northstar Cash jackpots start at $25,000. The lower the starting jackpot, the better the odds of winning.
You've got all the answers! Now start winning here: