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What A $1.5 Billion Powerball Win Could Get You In The Gambling World

Winning Jackpot Would Make You Nearly As Rich As One Poker Player


Tonight’s $1.5 billion Powerball drawing is the largest in history, fueled in part by the implementation of online lottery services in some U.S. states and the Powerball last fall making the odds of winning roughly 1-in-292 million, up from approximately 1-in-175 million.

The lump sum payment is roughly $930 million. There are, of course, taxes.

Winning the jackpot would make you as rich, on paper, as poker playing businessman Guy Laliberte, who has a net worth of $1.52 billion, according to Forbes. Laliberte was the organizer of two $1 million buy-in events at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. He’s also rumored to be one of online poker’s biggest losers in history.

Even without the $1 million buy-in One Drop event at the WSOP, a high roller tournament player could still spend seven figures each year in buy-ins. Poker pro Daniel Negreanu recently said in a blog: “The price of poker tournaments has reached new heights so buy-ins could exceed $2 million in a single year quite easily.” Negreanu plays most of these events each year.

Assuming you brick $2 million worth of buy-ins each year, the lump sum payout would obviously give you room to play them for life. Taking the annuity would also keep you in the game for as long as you live, and you could probably bankroll everyone you know, too.

The jackpot is so large that it nears the cost of the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas, which cost $1.6 billion to build in the late 1990s. That was also the cost of Bwin.Party, which was recently sold to rival GVC Holdings.

You couldn’t have come close to buying PokerStars, which went to Amaya Gaming for $4.9 billion in 2014. However, the jackpot could cover what Kentucky claims PokerStars owes it for doing business in the state from 2006 to 2011. A Kentucky court said last month that the poker site is on the hook for $870 million. PokerStars is of course appealing.

It’s hard to imagine anyone managing to squander the entire payout. Even if you were as bad a gambler as the largest whale in Las Vegas history, you would probably still hold on to a lot of cash. In 2007, legendary whale Terrance Watanabe lost more than $120 million playing table games before he decided enough was enough. He was later sued for not paying his debt.

Tags: Powerball,   Lottery