DEFINITION of 'Balloon Option'

An option contract where the strike price increases significantly after the underlying asset's price reaches a predetermined threshold. A balloon option increases the investor's leverage on the underlying asset.

BREAKING DOWN 'Balloon Option'

The main idea behind the balloon option is that after the threshold is exceeded, the regular payout is increased. For example, let's say that the threshold is $100. After the underlying exceeds this amount, rather than paying the regular dollar-for-dollar amount, the option payment would balloon to $2 for every $1 change against the strike price.

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