What Is the Cash Payout for Tonight’s $1.9 Billion Powerball?

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The dare-to-dreamers had their prayers answered early Sunday morning when it was announced that Saturday’s record-setting Powerball jackpot didn’t get claimed. You may yet have time to buy some tickets for today’s new record Powerball jackpot, which is estimated at $1.9 billion.

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Today’s Powerball lottery will be drawn at 10:59 CST at a Tallahassee, Florida, lottery studio. As per contest rules, you can either take the jackpot via 30 annual payments over 29 years (which, according to Fox13 News in Tampa Bay, no one has elected to do since 2014), or as a lump sum payment. Tonight’s cash value payout is $929.1 million.

As Forbes states, a federal withholding tax of 24% is imposed on gambling winnings, so your $929.1 million would be immediately slashed by $223 million — leaving you with $706 million.

And, if you are “a single taxpayer with no other income, dependents or tax deductions like charitable giving” you would need to set aside an additional $121 million for taxes — and can expect the overall prize to be whittled down to $585 million, Forbes added.

State and municipal governments will take their pieces, too, depending on set rates and regulations. According to WGAU in Athens, Georgia has a 5.75% state tax rate for lottery winnings. New York has a 8.82% tax rate.

If you did decide to go down the annual payment route, Forbes estimates you would be getting about $40 million per year, before state and city charges.

A full 45 states — plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands — offer the $2 Powerball tickets (and $1 extra if you want to try the Power Play option). If you live in Utah, Nevada, Hawaii, Alaska and Alabama, you’ll need to make a run for the nearest state border to get tickets (or order them online).

Prior to tonight’s jackpot, the biggest winning lottery prize ever in the United States was a $1.586 billion Powerball shared by three ticket holders from California, Florida and Tennessee in 2016. Saturday’s jackpot was a then-record of $1.60 billion.

There have been five Powerball winners in 2022, but Saturday was the 40th consecutive draw, dating back to Aug. 3, without a jackpot winner.

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According to its site, the odds of winning a prize in the Powerball lottery are always one in 24.9, regardless of the advertised jackpot and number of tickets sold. The long odds for winning any jackpot are one in 292.2 million. By comparison, Forbes says that the odds of getting hit by lightning are less than one in 1 million and the odds of being killed by a shark are one in 4.3 million, per the Florida Museum’s International Shark Attack records.

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