☕ So you won the Mega Millions

Should you take the lump sum or annuity?
July 26, 2022 View Online | Sign Up | Shop

Morning Brew


Good morning. If we learned anything from yesterday's news, it's that a surprising amount of insider trading goes down while playing sports.

Among a slew of insider trading charges unveiled Monday, the SEC accused former Indiana Rep. Stephen Buyer of learning about T-Mobile's pending acquisition of Sprint on the golf course (and placing trades to profit accordingly), while an ex-Goldman Sachs banker was accused of sharing info on potential mergers with a squash partner.

And that's why our pickleball league has a strict "no talking stocks" rule.

Neal Freyman, Matty Merritt, Max Knoblauch, Joe Abrams














*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 7:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: The major indexes used the humidity as an excuse to not do much of anything during trading hours yesterday.
  • There were fireworks after the bell sounded, though. Walmart cut its profit guidance, writing that inflation was denting consumer demand for goods outside of household necessities. The retailer said it'll need to mark down prices on its general merchandise to entice people to buy those items, showing how inflation can sometimes lead to…deflation. With other giant consumer companies slated to report earnings this week, including McDonald's and P&G, we'll learn whether this trend is an economy-wide phenomenon, or just a Walmart inventory problem.


You just won the Mega Millions. Now what?

Mega Millions balls Dianna "Mick" McDougall, Sources: Getty Images

The Mega Millions will hold a drawing tonight for a jackpot of $810 million. If won at that amount, it'd be the fourth-largest lottery prize in history.

Let's get this out of the way first: You won't win the jackpot. You just…won't. The odds of winning are about 1-in-302 million, which means you're far more likely to die from a meteorite strike or go to the ER because of a pogo stick injury than win the Mega Millions.

But let's say you do win (because someone has to). Once you regain consciousness after fainting, you'll be faced with a decision: Take the lump sum all at once, or spread the payout over decades in what's called an "annuity." Here's how each would work.

  • Lump sum: You'll receive a payment of $470.1 million, after the 24% federal tax withholding takes a ~$113 million bite out of your total winnings. Plus, the 37% top marginal tax rate means you'll fork over more of your prize to Uncle Sam come tax season.
  • Annuity: You'll receive an immediate payment followed by 29 annual installments over the next 30 years, with each cash infusion increasing by 5% to account for inflation.

So which should you take?

Most people who win the lottery choose the lump sum, and it's not hard to see why: You can make more money. Thanks to the magic of compound interest, you can invest your lottery winnings right away, and even with a conservative rate of return, make far more over 30 years than you can with the smaller droplets of cash provided by the annuity. Neither you nor your family would ever have to think twice about paying extra for guac again.

That said, the lump sum may not be for everyone. Are you the type of person who invested in dogecoin right before Elon Musk hosted SNL? If so, the annuity could offer some self-imposed fiscal discipline to prevent you from blowing all your winnings—which definitely happens. The internet is littered with stories of lottery winners who squandered their fortune, or otherwise watched their lives fall apart after thinking they had made it. One small study in Florida found that lottery winners were more likely to declare bankruptcy in three to five years than the average American.

Bottom line: You're not going to win the Mega Millions (because we are), so consider this a lighthearted economics thought experiment and nothing more.

This would also be a good time to mention that we have a personal finance newsletter, Money Scoop, that helps you make better decisions about your money—whether you're a lottery winner or not. Subscribe here.—NF



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Fidelity FidFoliosSM makes it easy to personalize your portfolio. Learn more here.


Tour de headlines

Pope Francis meets with members of an inigenous tribe in Canada Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

The pope made a historic apology in Canada. In Alberta, Pope Francis asked Indigenous people for forgiveness for the myriad abuses that Indigineous children suffered while attending Christian schools that attempted to assimilate them into Canadian society. "I am deeply sorry, sorry for the ways in which, regrettably, many Christians supported the colonizing mentality of the powers that oppressed the Indigenous peoples," he said. As part of his Canada trip, the pope will visit the sites of former schools in Quebec City and Iqaluit, Nunavut, later this week.

Myanmar executes democracy activists. Myanmar's military junta, which took control of the country by force last year, executed four democracy activists on Monday. These judicial executions were the first use of capital punishment in the country in more than 30 years. Leaders from around the world condemned the executions and what they called the unfair trials that preceded them.

BA5 is leading to more OOO messages. Managers everywhere are sending those "I hate to ask…" texts right now, because this summer more workers are calling in sick due to Covid and using their PTO. Between June 29 and July 11, 3.9 million Americans said they didn't work because they were either sick with Covid or were taking care of someone who had it, according to the Census Bureau—that's 2.1 million more people than the same period last year. Plus, 1.1 million more workers took vacations during that timeframe this year compared to 2021.


Russia throttles gas flows to Germany

Receiving station of the Nord Stream 1 in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lubmin Recieving station of Nord Stream 1 in Germany. Picture Alliance/Getty Images

Just as Europeans' pits start to dry from the heat wave, they're being forced to confront an entirely opposite problem: making sure there's heat for the colder months.

Russian state-run energy company Gazprom said that it's choking the flow of natural gas to Germany starting Wednesday to 20% of its typical capacity. That's giving major anxiety to European leaders who are already concerned about an energy crunch come the winter.

Gazprom claims it needs to lower capacity so it can fix a turbine in the 760-mile undersea pipeline. To that explanation, the German economy ministry responded with a more diplomatic version of "yeah, right." Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine in February—and then got slapped with Western sanctions—it's pulled back gas shipments to the EU and cited technical issues as justification.

The EU believes that Russia is using its energy exports as a weapon to hit back at the West for the economic punishments it's had to endure.

And it's one powerful weapon. Pre-invasion, Germany relied on Russia for about 55% of its natural gas needs, giving Russia all sorts of geopolitical leverage, according to the NYT. Germany has since slashed its reliance down to 30%, but the European Commission wants countries to lower their share of Russian gas to 15% over the next seven months in case Putin turns off the faucet completely.—MM



The NFL is trusting itself with the smallest screen

A football game taking place on a cellphone Francis Scialabba

The NFL has decided that the best company to take a crack at streaming its games is itself. On Monday, the league launched its new streaming service, NFL+ (great name, no notes), for $4.99/month, or $39.99/year.

NFL+ will give subscribers access to in-market Sunday afternoon games and national games on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights. A premium version of the service for an additional $5 a month (or $79.99 per year) will feature full replays and bird's-eye views of games that armchair GMs can use to analyze plays. For just $5 more than that, Tony Romo will toss the pigskin around with you while asking how work is going.

NFL+ does have one challenge flag—games on the app will only be viewable on mobile devices or tablets, not TVs. But, according to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, it's just the start of a long-term strategy of incorporating streaming into the NFL content playbook.

  • Hopefully that strategy is sound, because the league is giving up big money: Its last mobile deal with Verizon paid out around $2.3 billion over five years.

Looking ahead…the NFL is sifting through bids for the rights to its lucrative Sunday Ticket package, which DirecTV has held since 1994 (their deal expires after this season). Apple is reportedly the front-runner.—MK



Key performance indicators

Will Ferell saying "ma the meatloaf" Wedding Crashers/New Line Cinema via Giphy

Stat: Millennials crave a home-cooked meal more than they may let on. 80% of young adults in the US had moved less than 100 miles from where they grew up, while only 10% moved more than 500 miles away, according to a new study from the Census Bureau and Harvard. The researchers found that migration patterns vary by income, race, and ethnicity—kids of higher-income parents moved farther away than those with less wealthy parents, on average.

Quote: "MAKE INSTAGRAM INSTAGRAM AGAIN. Stop trying to be TikTok I just want to see cute photos of my friends."

An Instagram post by photographer Tati Bruening, who was complaining about Instagram, went viral yesterday, clearly resonating with users who've watched the platform change to adopt features popularized by TikTok. The post was also shared by Kylie Jenner, who, you may remember, wiped $1.3 billion off Snap's market cap in a single day in 2018 by criticizing the app's redesign.

Read: "Parentese" is the universal language, a new study finds. (New York Times)


Nothing beats a good cookbook: Here are the top 10 cookbooks published so far this year.

Such a tease: The Verge rounded up all the best trailers that were announced at San Diego's Comic-Con.

Marketing Brew event: Deva Bronson, EVP and head of brand assurance at Dentsu Media, and Brian Morris, marketing data and analytics leader at PwC, will join us to discuss how to deliver personalized digital environments and experiences in a post-third-party cookie world. The virtual event is going down on Aug. 10 at noon ET, sponsored by PwC. Sign up here.

Fuel your flow state. Magic Mind's unique blend of ingredients—like matcha, turmeric, and ashwagandha—enhances all-day focus and boosts energy. All in a 2-ounce shot. Save up to 45% when you subscribe.*

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  • Elon Musk denied a WSJ report that he had a brief affair with Sergey Brin's wife, calling it "total BS."
  • Weber stock plummeted after revealing that sales of grilling equipment were as tough as an overdone steak—and that it swapped out its CEO.
  • Paul Sorvino, the actor known for his roles in Goodfellas and Law & Order, died at 83.
  • Full Frontal With Samantha Bee was canceled after seven seasons on TBS.
  • Disney+ added the first R-rated movies to its platform.
  • Joni Mitchell stole the show at the Newport Folk Festival last weekend.


The puzzle section

Brew Mini: Today's Mini wants to see how low you can go. Play it here.

Famous aunts and uncles

Today, according to…someone, is National Aunt and Uncle's Day. To celebrate, we'll give you the name of a famous fictional aunt or uncle, and you have to name the character who is their niece or nephew.

  1. Aunt Vivian
  2. Aunts Hilda and Zelda
  3. Uncle Owen
  4. Uncle Ben
  5. Uncle Rico

Surviving your next team bonding activity

Surviving your next team bonding activity

You received the company-wide email: "Team outing this Friday!" Do you want to go? It is practical? How do you get through it? This is Office Politics, where we deal with your work problems so HR doesn't have to. Watch now.

More from the Brew:

Hear how Chef Pierre Thiam disrupted the Western-dominated grain market on the latest Business Casual episode. Listen or watch now.

Develop your leadership skills with the Morning Brew Leadership Accelerator. Learn more here.


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  1. Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
  2. Sabrina Spellman from Sabrina the Teenage Witch
  3. Luke Skywalker from Star Wars (okay, he's technically Luke's step-uncle)
  4. Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man
  5. Napoleon Dynamite

Written by Neal Freyman, Max Knoblauch, Matty Merritt, and Joseph Abrams

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