If you win the lottery, you want to get as much back as possible. The trouble is that the government takes a piece of the pie. Off the top, the lottery withholds 25% for federal taxes, then another 6-9% for state taxes depending on where you live and what your tax bracket is. In order to get as much of their winnings as possible, some prefer lottery annuity settlements in order to lessen the effect of taxes. The Powerball’s lottery payments, for example, come as 30 annual payments that increase over time. The Mega Millions lottery payments come as one immediate payment, followed by another 29, which increase by 5% with each payment. Others prefer lottery lump sum payouts, and will then invest them, so as to make the most of their winnings. What’s mind boggling, though, is the fact that some people don’t even collect their lottery payments. Believe it or not, there are some $2 billion in unclaimed lottery payments each year in the United States. Maybe it’s because people lost their tickets. Maybe it’s because they just forgot to check. Or maybe it’s because they read the winning numbers incorrectly. Whatever the case, that’s a lot of unclaimed lottery payments. To help put it all in perspective, here’s just a few of the things you could buy with all that money, and still have some tons of change left.
The Bayern Munich Soccer Club. — Bayern Munich is one of the best football, or “soccer,” clubs in the entire world. If you have all of the unclaimed lottery payments from one single year, you could buy the team, and still have $120 million leftover.
The Endeavor Space Shuttle. — If you had all of the unclaimed lottery winnings from a year in the United States, you would have more than enough money to buy an old space shuttle. Valued at $1.7 billion, you could buy the Endeavor, and still have $300 million left.
The Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Team. — With all the unclaimed lottery winnings, you’d have enough to buy the L.A. Dodgers, although you wouldn’t have anything leftover, if you did.
What would you do if you had all the leftover lottery payments that went unclaimed? What would you buy? Let us know in the comments.