HARTLAND -- Wednesday night's Powerball jackpot had risen to $550 million! Powerball tickets were selling fast on Wednesday, November 28th, and many shared their dreams of what they'd do with the money should they end up a winner.
For most, buying lottery tickets is a harmless investment, as long as it's only a few bucks here and there. However, for more consistent players, the odds are better putting that money elsewhere.
Financial advisor Miles Aquino said he sees little harm in daydreaming about exotic vacations, fancy cars or large homes lottery winnings could buy.
"We don't want to be the Grinch that stole Christmas. I tell people, 'I want you to enjoy yourself, play the lottery,'" Aquino said.
However, Aquino says odds of making money are much higher by putting those dollars elsewhere. For example, if an individual spends $50 a month on lottery tickets, a conservative investment of that money could net nearly $7,000 after 10 years. An average investment could yield $8,200, and an aggressive investment could lead to upwards of $9,700.
"If you had $50, maybe take $4, buy a couple lottery tickets. Maybe take the other 46, set it aside and pay yourself. It's a far cry from $450 million, but the odds, because you control it, are a little bit better," Aquino said.
This method means patience, and isn't necessarily as much fun. It won't allow for the purchasing of all the diamond jewelry one's heart desires, but there is a more likely payout.
"A nice vacation, or it could help pay for your children's education," Aquino said.
Aquino said those who start saving early in life could end up with a pretty nice nest egg by the time they retire.
The winning Powerball numbers on Wednesday were: 5, 23, 16, 22, 29, Powerball: 6!