Ok, let's get this taken care of first: the lottery is a bad gamble. It's a really, really, really bad gamble. It's a 1:176 million gamble for the Megamillions, for instance. That said, lottery winners often go broke because they don't plan ahead. Plan ahead. First, lotteries are subject to federal tax. For anything over $380k (or, really, adding up to $380k when combined with whatever you made as a working stiff), that's 35%. That takes this Friday's $359 million lump sum payment and turns it into $233.35 million, right off the top. After that, there are any applicable state and local taxes. I'm in PA, where there are no state/local taxes on lottery winnings. Win! Know what you're going to do with that money. Plan ahead. First off, are you going to distribute it? If you're going to give $10 million to your mom, $8 million to your sister, $9 million to your brother, etc., realize that if you do so AFTER you win the lottery that money is subject to gift tax. That means you'll get another tax hit after you've already paid the 35% federal tax (and any state and local taxes that apply). Don't do that. What you should do is establish ahead of time the assignment of your lottery ticket. It's what those people in office pools do: do the same thing with your own family. For example, with my nuclear family (mom, dad, sister, me) I've established a 52/16/16/16 split. I'm not gifting my family with lottery proceeds: I'm gifting them $0.16 each out of each $1 lottery ticket I buy ($0.32 out of each $2 ticket, since Powerball went up to $2 each ticket). Then, if that number wins, they get 16% of the winnings. They'll pay the 35% federal tax (and my sister will pay whatever state/local taxes apply in California, since I think she's officially a resident of CA even though she hasn't lived in the US in over 10 years) on their 16%, but they won't have to pay gift tax on whatever I gave them if I didn't establish that 16% of each ticket was already theirs. After that, it's the obvious shit. With this kind of money, earmark a bit as your "hookers and blow" money for you to party with for a little while, earmark a bit for whatever whimsical things you want to do with it (sponsoring a Math department chair at Virginia Tech with lottery money would be kind of funny to me), and then decide what lifestyle you want. Set up investments to support that lifestyle out of the interest earned, not the principle. Then invest the rest in a true "grow your wealth" fund, to keep ahead of inflation. In the above scenario, I'd have about $121,342,000 in my pocket after disbursement and taxes. If I put $20 million away in something insanely conservative like CDs, earning about 1% interest each year, I could live off of the $200k/year interest. I don't require much, to be honest. I'd blow about $1.3 million of it on a little partying and the like. That would leave ~$100 million for true growth of wealth planning. Done smartly, I could die a billionaire instead of dying broke like most retard lottery winners. What's your scenario for how you'd spend lottery money?