Although investing is one of the smartest ways to grow your wealth, it's not the only way. A lucky few become instant multimillionaires thanks to the lottery.
If you want to take a chance on joining them, Friday's Mega Millions jackpot is now over $502 million, topping the half-a-billion mark for just the fourth time, and making it the US's 10th largest prize ever.
Lottery winners can choose to receive the money in either an annuity — annual allotments over 30 years — or to get it all at once in a single payment for a smaller amount. For example, the lump sum on the $502 million jackpot would be $301 million, according to lottery site USAMega.com. If a single winner takes the single payment, the federal tax withholding would be over $75 million. Then, there are state taxes too.
Still, not too shabby for buying a $2 ticket.
Here are the top five prizes ever won.