Lottery ticket buyers try to beat the odds

Lottery ticket buyers try to beat the odds (Image 1)

It may be Friday the 13, but lottery tickets buyers are feeling lucky.

Throughout Nashville and across the country, customers lined up to hand over their hard-earned money for a chance at winning the $425 million Mega Millions jackpot.

Some customers were spending $30 to $40 on tickets at one time.

Galen Griffin of Mt. Juliet knows the odds are against him, but that didn't stop him from using a five dollar bill to try his luck.

“I don't know what I'd do with [the winnings],” Griffin said. “But five dollars for $400 million? I'm in.”

Dorsha James stopped in the Exxon on Broadway in downtown Nashville and spent $40 on Mega Millions tickets.  She said she only plays when the jackpot rises to a certain level.

“I guess it's always just the thrill of thinking about what it would be like to have that much money and not have to worry about bills and finances,” said James.

Local financial adviser Kendall Regen, of Granite Retirement & Regen Tax, stated you'd be amazed by the bad decisions made by lottery winners.

“Over 70 percent of the people that win the lottery and who win all these millions of dollars are bankrupt within just a few years,” Regen said.

The odds of winning are stacked against you in a big way. It's one in 258 million.  You actually have a better chance of dating a super mode;, the odds of which are one in 88,000, or getting struck by lightning, which happens to one out of 10,000 time.

So let's not count on it just yet, but just in case, a few simple tips early on could save you from bankruptcy down the road.

Regen suggests that if you are the lucky winner of a lottery jackpot, you need to catch your breath, then start planning right away.

Planning starts with assembling a team of professionals you can trust, including a financial adviser, tax pro, and even an attorney.

He also suggests not making any drastic lifestyle decisions for six months, like quitting your job, buying a mansion or moving to Europe.

“Just be smart,” added Regen. “Make some good, sound decisions, and take your time.”

Also, you can count on making a bunch of news friends, and even some enemies, with your newfound millions.

According to the Tennessee Lottery, state law requires the Lottery to disclose the name, home state, and home town of winners if a request is received for such information.

 For more information on the Tennessee Lottery, visit

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