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Lump Sum

Idiom: lump
; used as a noun


Abel: Hey Sandra, I heard about you winning the lottery?

Sandra: Yep!  I won $10 million!
Abel: Wow, that’s amazing!
Sandra: Yeah, I still have to decide if
I’m going to take the annuity or lump

Abel: What’s that?
Sandra: Well, taking an annuity means I
get the whole $10 million, but it will come in payments over 20 years.  If I want everything at once, I can take a
lump sum payment, but it will be a bit less than $7 million.
Abel: Oh, that is a tough decision.

Meaning: The term “lump
” is used for large payments, usually made when some kind of
payment plan is also an option.  These
options are common with lottery winnings (like the example above) and retirement
payments).  In the example above, Sandra
is unsure if she should take a lump sum or annuity payment on her lottery
winning.  The phrase can also be used
when making payments, such as in the following example:

owes $1500 in taxes.  He has the option
of paying it all off in a lump sum,
or he can make payments to the IRS, but if he decides to make payments, he’ll
have to pay an additional fee and interest. 
It will end up costing him closer to $2000 in the long run.

Meaning: In this case, Timothy owes taxes, so the lump sum would be
a payment he makes instead of receives.

This idiom is from LSI’s new edition of “Reading
Horizons,” which will be used in the Level 6 Reading classes. For more
information, please visit

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