Missouri convenience store clerk Chris Shaw had $28.96 in his bank account last week. The 29-year-old Jefferson City, Mo., man’s financial luck changed a bit when he won the $258 million Missouri lottery this week.
Shaw is a rich man, that’s for sure. The question is: How rich?
What would you do in his shoes (after celebrating, of course)?
You would have to choose between accepting the money immediately as a lump sum or over the course of 29 years. The choice could make a big difference in determining how much money you end up with.
Here’s the scenario:
The Missouri Lottery offers a lump-sum payment of $124,875,122. After Missouri’s 6% income tax, that would be $117,382,666.
Once you have that $117 million, you’re free to do as you please. You could spend it all in one place, although that would be difficult. One option would be to stash your money in a CD. According to MyBankTracker’s latest CD rates, in Missouri, you’d earn 1.55% interest on your sum each year, meaning you would have $119,202,222 after year one. If you were to keep your winnings in a CD for 30 years, assuming no change in interest rates, you would end up with $186,026,555.
Your other option would be to accept 30 payments over the course of 29 years. Each payment ($8.6 million) would be taxed separately at the time you received it. Assuming Missouri’s income tax remains stable, you would keep $8,084,000 each year. Spread over 30 payments, you would keep $242,520,000 before investing.
If you have any (enormously huge) outstanding debts, you could opt for the lump-sum payment. If not, the deferred payments might be the way to go. Either way, you win.