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Lottery is one of the most popular games in the world. And while the odds of winning are slim, it’s still possible to win big – especially if you play smart and use proven strategies. But there’s more to the lottery than winning big – it can be an excellent way to save for retirement, college tuition and other expenses. And it can even help you overcome debt and build wealth.

The concept of the lottery dates back centuries. The Old Testament instructed Moses to count the people and divide their land, and Roman emperors used lotteries to give away property and slaves. Benjamin Franklin organized a lottery to raise funds for cannons and George Washington promoted a lottery that advertised land and slaves as prizes in The Virginia Gazette. In colonial America, public and private lotteries were widespread and helped finance roads, libraries, schools, canals, churches, colleges and other infrastructure.

The prize money for a lottery can be either a lump sum or an annuity, with the former being the total amount of the payout after deducting fees and taxes. Generally, more than 90% of winners choose the lump sum. However, if you prefer to invest your payments into assets like real estate or stocks, an annuity is the option for you.