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Answer for question 4174.
blaisepascal
If you won the lottery, what three things would you buy first? Would you give any to charity? Would you take the money all at once or get it in installments?
If I won the lottery, I suppose the first thing I would do would be (retroactively) buy a lottery ticket, since I don't buy them.

But assuming that I won based off of a ticket that was given to me, or found by me, or otherwise came into my possession legitimately despite my not being a purchaser of such things...

First things first would be clearing debts, so that would effectively mean paying for the car I currently own, the house I currently live in, and the college education I got lo those many years ago. That's three things. Then I would buy a new roof for the house, which it needs.

However, probably first, before all that, would be a celebratory dinner.

Having a large pool of money would mean that some of it would probably go to charities, but not a substantial amount.

I would probably take the money in a lump sum. The ways these typically work is that they will say "you won $1M. You can have it as $600K today, or divided into $50K/year for 20 years." What that means in practice is that they can buy an annuity that will pay the $50K/year for 20 years for $600K, so they will offer you the choice of how they spend that $600K. Unless my winnings are large enough that the annual payout can actually pay for the car/house/college, it would probably make more sense for me to take the lump sum, then buy an annuity myself with the remainder. Given that car+house+college+roof would be under $100K for me, it may make sense to go with the annuity if I were to win over $3M in the lottery.

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