By Jug Varner

The odds against winning the Lottery seem like a kazillion to one, of course, but it could happen. The old cliché, “Somebody's got to win it” is true…eventually, but in the meantime you can blow a lot of bucks shooting for the moon and getting nothing.

But suppose, just suppose (don't bet on it), that you actually hold those winning numbers for your state's Lottery Jackpot one day soon. Do you know enough about it to make decisions most advantageous to you before you claim the prize?

First of all, do you know exactly what percent of the total amount the state will actually pay you…how much will be deducted for taxes immediately and later on…what could happen if you intend to split it with others…and other such problems that have befallen unprepared winners? It is not quite as simple as you may think.

Most states string it out over a 20 to 25-year payoff. A few allow cash option, where you can elect to take a lump sum payment in lieu of the standard annual payout, at about 50% of the long-term amount (minus 28% immediately deducted by Uncle Sam's IRS). I think most winners in such states take that option because they feel they can do better investment wise, and/or are concerned that the money might not even be available at some point in the future.

If you play the lottery at all, you might want to do yourself a favor by clicking here and reading every word of this article on the subject of “What To Do Before And After You Win The Lottery.” It makes a lot of sense and could make you a lot of “cents” if the Lottery Gods ever touch you with their magic wands.

Your library (or bookstore, or Internet web site) has books written on all aspects of this subject. One I saw on the Internet called, “Hitting The Lottery Jackpot” looked interesting.

Good luck, and cut me in for a few bucks if you win it, will you?