Record high lottery prize draws millions to buy tickets, winners are announced

In mid-January, the Powerball lottery was rocketed into the mainstream media as the winning prize hit $1 billion dollars. Never before had a lottery seen such a huge jackpot — the previous record high prize was about $600 million in 2012, through lottery company Mega Millions. The turnout for the lottery was massive, with some sources estimating that as many as one billion tickets were sold, and potentially many more.

Finally, on January 14th, three winners were chosen, and the billion dollar prize was split equally amongst them. Going home with more than $900 million each, the winners of the prizes became multimillionaires overnight. With such a large sum being given out, exactly how much could one buy with this huge sum?

SLVHS students had many different ideas for how to spend the grand prize, ranging from the fantastical to the logical. One SLVHS junior, Amanda Rinnert, said she would “definitely donate a lot of it to some of my favorite charities. Then some for college and save a lot for the future.” Rinnert certainly was not the only student interested in donating to charity.

As Kaylee Raymond said, “I would probably give a lot to charities. I would go on a mission trip to help rebuild broken communities in poor countries and definitively use it for college. I would also use the money to give my parents all they deserve.”

Abby Halper said she would use the money to “donate to the Paw Project and animal shelters. I’d also use it to pay for college and my own car. I’d also buy my own house and save some for retirement.”

While many students’ first responses were that they would use the winnings for college, others were more interested in using their money to help them commit to hobbies like traveling. Cassie Ackemann said she would “invest a lot of it and then save the rest for traveling.”

Robert Jeffrey, a junior at SLV, decided that the best way to spend the prize money would be to buy 100 million boxes of Girl Scout cookies (With 400 million dollars to spare!)

Two of the Powerball winners hailing from Florida and Tennessee, can expect to give 25% of their prize money in taxes, a measly $200 million. However, the winner of the Californian ticket has yet to come out as the winner. If the winner of the money never comes forward, it will be donated to the California public education system.

The prize helped out not only its lucky winners, but also those who helped give it out. The owners of the 7-11 stores where the winning tickets were sold will get around a million dollars in profit as a “thank you” from the Powerball lottery.  The owner of one of these stores, Balbir Atwal, promised to share his money with his employees and family, and donate a large amount of it to charity.

One of the three winning tickets of the Powerball lottery was bought by couple John and Lisa Robinson. The couple has been extremely public about their win and have been featured on multiple news networks, including the Today Show. The married couple has two children together and hail from a small town in Tennessee. They have said multiple times since their win that they hope to remain grounded despite their winnings.

By Serena Mendoza

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