Savings accounts a safer bet than $100 million Powerball frenzy

Up to one in three adults in Australia are expected to have a ticket in tonight’s $100 million Powerball draw, but in reality they have a better chance at making money out of their savings account.
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While thoughts of owning a luxury yacht, travelling the world and never having to work again are uplifting, the odds of winning Powerball are slim, Canstar Group Executive of Financial Services Steve Mickenbecker says.

“The odds are against you in making a better return on gambling than the 3% in interest you could get from a savings account,” Mr Mickenbecker said.

“Gambling can be fun, but it is only fun when you keep losses to your petty cash.”

The odds of winning any Powerball prize are one in 44, while your chances of winning the division one prize are one in 134.5 million.

How you purchase your lottery ticket is also important to consider, because banks typically charge a fee, known as a cash advance, when you make a gambling transaction on your credit card.

According to Canstar research, the average cash advance rate among the big four banks for such a transaction is around 21%.

This means if you were to buy a $30 ticket, you would end up paying $30.62 if you were to repay it that day.

That ticket would cost you $31.13 if you took a month to repay it and if you took a year to pay it back, it would cost you nearly $37.

Tattersalls spokesman Matt Hart said more than 6,000 Powerball tickets sold within a minute at its peak in last Thursday’s $80 million draw.

A similar frenzy is expected for tonight’s $100 million draw, with up to one in three Australian adults tipped to try their luck.

If tonight’s draw goes the same way as last week’s and there are no division one winners, the jackpot will rise by a yet-to-be determined amount.

Regardless of the amount, the new jackpot would become Australia’s largest ever lottery prize draw.

However, if one entry takes home the entire $100 million tonight, it would break another record.

The existing largest single division one winner is currently $70 million, which went to a Hervey Bay couple in 2016.

Roy Morgan research shows 10.6 million Australian adults gambled during the 2018 financial year, with about 45% (8.6 million) buying a lottery or scratchie ticket.

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