Playing Powerball as a group might help improve your odds of winning. But there are five things you should know before pitching in to buy tickets.
When the Powerball jackpots grow to massive dollar amounts, more and more Americans flock to buy tickets. And those multi-million-dollar potential winnings also lure group players who seek to increase their odds of winnings by purchasing multiple tickets. You might have played with a group of friends, family, or co-workers before, too. But there are a few things you should know before pitching into that next Powerball pool.
You might be swayed to play in pools because of the excitement of playing, especially when the Powerball jackpots are sizable. But you don’t want to face winning with a group of people you don’t necessarily like or trust. In one group-winning instance, one of the co-workers learned of the winning numbers and tried to claim the prize himself without informing the group. In that case, the group ended up suing him and winning their portions of the prize. But it serves as a valuable lesson. Know who’s in your group and have a transparent plan for how you plan to proceed with any kind of win.
Some group Powerball players keep the contribution rules simple. They each pitch in one dollar, with the understanding that should one of their tickets be a winner, the group will split the prize equally. In other pools, however, players allow some people to contribute more to the purchase pot, with the intention of collecting a more significant percentage of the win. Pitching in one-dollar will earn the smallest percentage of the jackpot. Contributing a $20 bill would increase the share of the win. However your group chooses to play, before you join a Powerball group of players, make sure you understand the contribution and payout plans.
There’s a chance your Powerball group becomes the winner of a smaller prize. Some pools decide, upfront, to reinvest those smaller wins into buying more tickets for the next game. A $100 win might sound worth keeping. But spread out over 20 fellow employees, for example, and it might not be worth taking home a few bucks. Other Powerball-playing groups insist on paying out even the smallest Powerball wins. Regardless of how your group plans to handle it, have a discussion and make sure everyone is on board with what you decide.
You and your Powerball group might face a jackpot win. But before you claim your prize, you’ll want to consider the tax obligations. If you decide as a group to send forth one member to collect the jackpot, what is your tax percentage? Alternatively, if you come forward as a group, what is the tax burden for each of you collecting your portion of the jackpot? Regardless of how you claim, your group should plan and calculate the best way to do so.
You might be wondering if playing Powerball as a group actually works. The short answer is yes. There have been several instances when co-workers and groups scored big. One Pennsylvania group of office co-workers split a $172.7 million jackpot 49 ways back in 2012. In 2018, a group of officemates who had been pitching in three dollars every week for several years finally hit it big with a $4.9 million jackpot. A pool of 20 workers at Quaker Oats split a Powerball jackpot of $241 million. And that same group won another $10,000 Powerball prize just a few short months later, too.
Group Powerball purchases are pretty popular. And keeping these few things in mind when you play with your pals will ensure you’re prepared to win.