Seven Things You Should Know About Winning a Lottery Jackpot

It’s definitely not likely you’ll hit big. But if you win, you could be happy for years to come — no matter what the naysayers tell you.

Photo of a man throwing money up in the air in celebration
(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Your Chances of Winning Big are Itty Bitty. You might not be surprised to learn that you’re more likely to get elected to Congress than to strike it rich in the lottery. With the Powerball jackpot, the odds of winning any prize are about one in 25, but the chances of winning the big money jackpot are less than one in 292 million. With Mega Millions, the odds are even worse: less than one in 302 million for the jackpot. Still, the allure of a multimillion-dollar jackpot tempts. Who hasn’t fantasized about how they’d spend the money? (At least, what’s left after you pay the taxes on your lottery prize.) And so the tickets keep selling.

2. Lottery Scams Abound.

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Senior Retirement Editor,

Elaine Silvestrini has worked for Kiplinger since 2021, serving as senior retirement editor since 2022. Before that, she had an extensive career as a newspaper and online journalist, primarily covering legal issues at the Tampa Tribune and the Asbury Park Press in New Jersey. In more recent years, she's written for several marketing, legal and financial websites, including and, and the newsletters Auto Insurance Report and Property Insurance Report.