the truck driver didn't really win a million dollars. he won the right to earn one million dollars provided that he takes an annual sum of $50,000 a year for the next 20 years before taxes (federal and state). if he doesn't take that option and decides to redeem the whole value of his winning ticket, it is only worth less than half a million dollars and, when taxes are taken out, perhaps no more than a third of one million. in short, he isn't choosing between a million today and a million tomorrow; he is choosing between a third of a million today and a whole million tomorrow. in the end, whether he comes out better off with one option or the other all depends on the rate of inflation and the rate of return on his investment. it isn't as simple as some on this forum seem to think. nothing ever is; specially the complex world of high finance and money management.