Thanks to the tantric-like anticipation built up over the last few weeks of non-winning numbers, we're on track for a historic Powerball jackpot drawing tonight -- even Donald Trump is buying lottery tickets (probably).
Here's the important information you should burn into your brain before those balls start rolling:
The drawing is at 11pm (EST)
In an age where we all have Internet-connected devices attached to our bodies at all times, the actual time of the drawing's TV broadcast isn't really as important. Still, you should know what time to check that Internet-connected device, and that time is 11pm. EST.
The Powerball prizes
Everyone's got their eyes on that $1.5 billion grand prize, but since the odds of winning are 1 in 292,201,338, it's helpful to set your sights on the more realistic (hah!) prizes:
$1 Million: Match all five white balls in any order (1 in 11,688,053.52)
$50,000: Match four white balls in any order, plus the powerball (1 in 913,129.18)
$100: Match four white balls in any order (1 in 36,525.17)
$100: Match three white balls in any order, plus the powerball (1 in 14,494.11)
$7: Match three white balls in any order (1 in 579.76)
$7: Match two white balls in any order, plus the powerball (1 in 701.33)
$4: Match one white ball, plus the powerball (1 in 91.98)
$4: Match the powerball (1 in 38.32)
How much you'll really get
As you've likely heard ad nauseam, that $1.5 billion payout won't actually be $1.5 billion, and the real amount you take home depends on the state you live in: if you're a New York resident, you'll get $615 million (the least in the country), but if you live in one of the 10 states that don't tax lottery winnings, you'll end up with a cool $697 million. Not that any of this matters, because it's still $600 million more than you had yesterday.
What to do if you actually win the jackpot
Do you take the annuity or opt for the lump sum? Do you give it all to charity or invest it in orange juice concentrate futures? There's no shortage of suggestions out there for would-be winners -- Mark Cuban even gave his two billion cents on it recently.
For our money (!!) though, the most thorough advice was provided in an AskReddit thread last year. It covers everything from hiring a lawyer to dealing with angry family members, and even if you somehow don't end up winning tonight, it's still worth a read.
Check out the full comment below, and then run out to grab those Quick Picks before it's too late: