This month we’re going to review some options for you to consider when you hit it big in Vegas.
First of all, really big jackpots are paid via an annuity. When you hit the $10,000,000+ Megabucks, IGT the company that owns the machine will give you a check for $500,000 and another on the anniversary of your win for the next 19 years. These numbers may vary because the annuity could be stretched over a 25 or 30 or even a 40 year period. They will also offer you the option of taking a lump sum payment that’s equal to the first payment and the cash they would’ve contributed to the annuity. For the record IGT does not publicly discuss how they pay out big hits but winners have confirmed this experience and it’s a common practice in lotteries. Should Lady Luck favor you with a win this large seek the best professional help… now you can afford it.
But what would you do if you hit a smaller jackpot that isn’t quite so life changing? Winning $5,000, $10,000, $25,000 $50,000 or even $100,000 is still a big deal and happens more often than you might think (it just doesn’t happen to me).
The casinos prefer to pay you in cash hoping that you’ll press your luck and the money will find its way back into the casino vault.
If you are uncomfortable carrying large sums of money (most people are) here are some options to consider.
Most casinos offer safety deposit boxes for their guests, this is a great place to stash your cash and your valuables. Never use the safe in your room for the family jewels or your cash (unless you are in the room). Those things are usually just screwed into the wall.
The casinos will also let you open an account and deposit “upfront money”. This is similar to having a line of credit in the casino, allowing you to take out markers at the tables or cashier up to the amount of your deposit. This has the added benefit of guaranteeing that your play will get rated.
The check’s in the mail… send money to yourself at home via Western Union, the U.S. Postal Service, a bank or even with a Money Transfer from Walmart. I promise when you get home and open the envelope it’ll be like winning all over again.
Other ways to hold on to your windfall is to treat yourself. Buy something you’ve always wanted but couldn’t afford back home. New shades, shoes, a dress or purse will remind you of your good fortune every time you see it.
Locals are always generous with wins sharing “lucky money” with trip-mates and family but another way to commemorate your lucky day is to surprise someone with an unexpected gift or making a donation to a charity that resonates with you.
Finally don’t forget to tip the slot attendant who is taking care of your hand pay or the dealer who gave you the winning hand. My advice however is to not over tip. The Wizard of Las Vegas, Michael Shackleford has some great guidelines on the subject of tipping that I try to follow.
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