Here's the real answers to 7 Powerball lottery questions. #6 is asked a lot


You have some questions about Powerball, and even with Google's help you can't find any good answers. 

You want to know where the prize money goes if you die before getting it all?

And does anyone else get your quick-pick numbers, or are they exclusive to you?

Here's the answers to those questions and 6 others that might surprise you. The 6th question is one that many people wonder about:

#1. Is it true that the odds of winning $1 million in Powerball 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.

#2. 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.

#3. If I buy a Powerball 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. Another reason to stay away from them.

#4. 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 in 30 payments. The first payment will be paid after the prize is claimed; the next 29 payments will be paid yearly.

#5. 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.

#6. Why not pay 50 Powerball winners $1 million each, instead of $50 million all 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.

#7. I received an email from a person saying I won Powerball. How do I know if this is real or fake?

A. The only way to win the lottery is to buy a lottery ticket, or enter a second-chance contest directly on an official lottery website. You would never be asked to provide personal information over the phone or email by lotteries. A legitimate lottery would also never ask you to pay taxes or fees before you receive payment.

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