The Best Places in the US to Win the Lottery
Not all lottery jackpot winners end up with the same amount of money.
Mega Millions needs to change its name as it’s no longer accurate. As of Tuesday’s drawing, the lottery jackpot is hovering somewhere around $1.6 billion. Yes, billion. With a B.
Though your odds of winning are ridiculously slim, you’re probably going to go out and buy that $2 ticket anyway–you know, just in case Lady Luck is on your side. If you somehow do win, there’s still plenty to think about. Here’s everything you need to know about winning the mega billions.
You won’t actually win $1.6 billion.
Yes, the jackpot is technically up there, but each winner is subject to immediate federal taxes. And, as Refinery29 reports, those federal taxes will take 39.6 percent of your winnings. The IRS gets 25 percent off the bat, while the remaining 14.6 percent is due when you file your taxes. And that doesn’t even take into account state-level taxes, which vary state by state.
You’ll take home more money if you live in one of these six states.
If you win the lottery and live in Florida, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, or Wyoming, you’re in luck. That’s because none of these six states have income taxes, so you’ll be able to take home just a bit more. California, Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wyoming winners are also particularly lucky as these states do not tax lottery winnings.
But, as Refinery29 reports, the luckiest place of all to win is Puerto Rico. That’s because the U.S. territory doesn’t have state or federal taxes.
You can choose between a lump sum or yearly payments.
Winners get to choose between taking all the cash in one payment or getting paid out over the course of 30 years. According to Money, since 2003, just four people have taken the yearly payout.
Money further explained the lump sum works out to about $930 million, after federal income taxes. But be warned: No matter which way you choose to take your money, you will be paying taxes anyway. One way you could beat the system is by taking the lump sum and investing it wisely to make even more cash from the get-go.
Sorry, but you may not be able to remain anonymous.
If you win the $1.6 billion jackpot, you may wish to remain anonymous (or go public and rub it in your ex’s face… we won’t judge you). But, there are some states where that simply isn’t possible.
According to ABC, winners in Texas, Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, and South Carolina can remain anonymous. Winners in Arizona can remain anonymous for 90 days, but then their identity becomes a part of public record.
The best way to try and remain out of the public eye is to accept your winnings via both a lawyer and set up a blind trust, which will further protect your anonymity, according to Forbes.
Lastly, if you happen to be the person who beats the one in 302.6 million chance and matches all the numbers, remember one thing: We provided you with all this useful information and we are your friends. So, don’t forget about us.