We’ve all spent our imaginary Powerball winnings before. We’ve picked out where we’d park the Audi and our Benz in the six-car garage attached to our 14-bedroom, 14-bath mansion. You know exactly how much money you’d give your family and how you’d avoid the curse of the lottery. It’s all planned out. You just need to buy the ticket.
Well, dream bigger because the Powerball recently passed $500 million. No one has won the jackpot in 37 drawings, the New York Post noted, but millions of Americans believe their lucky numbers will give them the edge in the next drawing.
You can find out if you won on Monday at 10:59 p.m. EST. See the results here.
The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot is 1 in 292.2 million. For perspective, the odds of an asteroid killing you is 1 in 1.9 million. Death by a shark is about the same. A bee sting ending is 1 in 80,000.
But just because no one has claimed the top prize doesn’t mean that Powerball hasn’t made someone an instant millionaire. Brian Mineweaser of Pennsylvania won $1 million during Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. The 49-year-old was one of five finalists up for the prize.
“It’s just so surreal!” Mineweaser told ABC27. “It’s amazing to win $1 million! This will help me put my four kids through college.”
The other participants didn’t go home empty-handed. All of them won $10,000 cash and an electronics package that featured a 70-inch television, laptop, camera, and surround sound system.
Last year was a big one for the Powerball. The lottery handed out $2 billion in prizes in 2021 from six jackpots, ranging from $23 million to $731 million.
So You’ve Won The Lottery. Now What?
Congratulations. You’ve won the Powerball lottery. Welcome to America’s wealthiest 1 percent. Can you loan us a few million? Nevermind. We’ll circle back to that.
Winning the lottery isn’t as simple as popping in to collect your big check from Powerball headquarters. First off, there are taxes. The federal government is going to take 24 percent of your winnings immediately, CNBC said. Your state will also demand a cut. This windfall will also put you in the top tax bracket, meaning you could be taxed 37 percent.
That’s a lot of money gone, but keep in mind the average worker only makes $1.7 million across their entire lifetime. You’re in rarified air, so keep that in perspective.
This should go without saying, but protect your ticket. If it’s gone, so is the money.
Also, don’t rush out to claim your prize right away. Take your time and plan. There are law firms that specialize in protecting lottery winners’ identify and winnings. Speak to them about the best way to move forward.
If the Powerball people give you the option to take a smaller, one-time payment right now or collect your winnings in an annual annuity — take the lump sum. It may be less upfront, but it has a lot more benefits.
For one, you now have a larger pool of money for high-yield investments like real estate. The interest will mean a lot more money in the end. The annuity could also have long-term tax implications.
Spend wisely. So, about that loan. …