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Powerball jackpot hits $750 million. If you win, here’s the tax bill

The Powerball jackpot has reached $750 million by July 12, 2023.

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The Powerball jackpot topped an estimated $750 million ahead of Wednesday’s drawing, becoming the seventh-largest prize in the game’s history, according to the lottery.

But those winnings drop substantially after taxes.

If you score the winning ticket, there are two choices for the windfall: an estimated $378.8 million lump sum or an annuitized prize that pays out yearly and is worth $750 million in all.

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“One thing that’s unique about the lottery is that you can accept it over a 30-year period with annuity payments,” said certified financial planner John Chichester Jr., founder and CEO of Chichester Financial Group in Phoenix. “That offers a lot more flexibility in how you pay the taxes.”

Rather than a larger, upfront tax bill, you can take the annuity payment and invest the money in a tax-efficient manner, said Chichester, who is also a certified public accountant.

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are 1 in about 292 million.

Almost $90.9 million goes to the IRS

Before winners see a penny of the multimillion-dollar jackpot, there’s a mandatory 24% federal withholding that goes to the IRS. The withholding applies to winnings of more than $5,000.

If you choose the $378.8 million cash option, the 24% withholding automatically reduces your cut by about $90.9 million. However, many taxpayers wrongly assume they’re off the hook after that 24%, Chichester said.

“That 24% comes off the top, but you’re still responsible for the other 13% at some point,” he said.

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You may also owe state taxes, depending on where you live and where you bought the ticket. While some states have no income tax or don’t tax lottery winnings, others have top-income state tax brackets exceeding 10%. 

The Powerball isn’t the only chance to win big. The jackpot for Friday night’s Mega Millions drawing now stands at an estimated $560 million. The chance of hitting the jackpot in that game is roughly 1 in 302 million.

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