Here's how much the $1.76 billion Powerball jackpot winner will actually take home

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Everyone's dreamt of it: that life-changing moment where a simple lottery ticket purchase catapults you into the ranks of one of the world's wealthiest people.

The allure of the Powerball jackpot - especially the recent staggering $1.76 billion win in California - captures the imagination of many. What would you do with that much money? Finally quit your job and travel the world? Help those in need? Buy a luxury yacht and do your best Jeff Bezos impression for the rest of your life?

It all sounds like a dream. But behind the glitz, glamor, and oversized cheques, there's a maze of decisions and regulations that jackpot winners must navigate.

With odds estimated at a daunting 292.2 million to one, it's understandable why such Powerball jackpots reach astronomical figures. Yet, as they say, with great power(ball) comes great responsibility... and a lot of math.

Although the recent $1.76 billion winner may be sitting somewhere celebrating their incredible win - the reality behind that final figure isn't so simple.

Powerball winners face the age-old certainty articulated by Benjamin Franklin: death and taxes. And while many might argue billionaires often evade the latter, Powerball winners certainly aren't among them.

Choices, Choices...

Once the initial euphoria settles, winners are faced with a crucial decision: opt for a series of annual installments over 30 years or take an immediate lump sum.

Here's the catch -- the lump sum, while tempting, is a significantly reduced amount. For our recent Californian winner, the lump sum totals approximately $774.1 million, a staggering billion dollars less than the accumulated 30-year payout.

While the 30-year installment might sound like the more lucrative choice, promising $58.3 million annually before tax, curiously, many winners gravitate towards the lump sum, according to CNBC. It's a bird-in-hand scenario for most.

size-full wp-image-1263232478
The big number you win may not be what you end up with. Credit: Anadolu Agency / Getty Taxing Matters

The financial rabbit hole deepens with the tax implications. A winner opting for the lump sum must brace themselves for a mandatory 24 percent federal tax, according to Forbes. That would shrink their fortune to a 'modest' $588,316,000.

"The Lottery is required to withhold federal taxes of 24% for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens providing a social security number, and 24% for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens not providing a social security number," according to the Winner's Handbook. Depending on their existing taxable income, this figure might be reduced further.

(If the winner is not a US citizen, then 30% will be withheld.)

Choosing the annual payments doesn't offer a tax haven either. A hefty 47 percent federal marginal rate applies, slicing each yearly payment to roughly $30.899 million. Over 30 years, this would aggregate to about $926,970,000.

Thankfully, our Californian winner can breathe a sigh of relief; the Golden State doesn't tax lottery winnings.

size-full wp-image-1263232477
Credit: Anadolu Agency / Getty Interest-ing Perspective

Here's a fun twist: what if our lucky winner decides to play the long game with their lump sum? With 2023's standard US interest rate at 5.5%, imagine this fortune benefiting from compound interest. The magic of earning interest on both the initial amount and the accumulated interest means that - within a mere decade, without lifting a finger - our winner would join the exclusive billionaire's club.

In conclusion, while the allure of becoming a Powerball billionaire is undeniably attractive, it's worth noting the maze of choices, implications, and financial intricacies that come with it.

But hey, it's a pretty fantastic problem to have, right? Anyway, I'm off to buy a ticket...

Featured image credit: Brandon Bell / Getty

Here's how much the $1.76 billion Powerball jackpot winner will actually take home

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

Everyone's dreamt of it: that life-changing moment where a simple lottery ticket purchase catapults you into the ranks of one of the world's wealthiest people.

The allure of the Powerball jackpot - especially the recent staggering $1.76 billion win in California - captures the imagination of many. What would you do with that much money? Finally quit your job and travel the world? Help those in need? Buy a luxury yacht and do your best Jeff Bezos impression for the rest of your life?

It all sounds like a dream. But behind the glitz, glamor, and oversized cheques, there's a maze of decisions and regulations that jackpot winners must navigate.

With odds estimated at a daunting 292.2 million to one, it's understandable why such Powerball jackpots reach astronomical figures. Yet, as they say, with great power(ball) comes great responsibility... and a lot of math.

Although the recent $1.76 billion winner may be sitting somewhere celebrating their incredible win - the reality behind that final figure isn't so simple.

Powerball winners face the age-old certainty articulated by Benjamin Franklin: death and taxes. And while many might argue billionaires often evade the latter, Powerball winners certainly aren't among them.

Choices, Choices...

Once the initial euphoria settles, winners are faced with a crucial decision: opt for a series of annual installments over 30 years or take an immediate lump sum.

Here's the catch -- the lump sum, while tempting, is a significantly reduced amount. For our recent Californian winner, the lump sum totals approximately $774.1 million, a staggering billion dollars less than the accumulated 30-year payout.

While the 30-year installment might sound like the more lucrative choice, promising $58.3 million annually before tax, curiously, many winners gravitate towards the lump sum, according to CNBC. It's a bird-in-hand scenario for most.

size-full wp-image-1263232478
The big number you win may not be what you end up with. Credit: Anadolu Agency / Getty Taxing Matters

The financial rabbit hole deepens with the tax implications. A winner opting for the lump sum must brace themselves for a mandatory 24 percent federal tax, according to Forbes. That would shrink their fortune to a 'modest' $588,316,000.

"The Lottery is required to withhold federal taxes of 24% for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens providing a social security number, and 24% for U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens not providing a social security number," according to the Winner's Handbook. Depending on their existing taxable income, this figure might be reduced further.

(If the winner is not a US citizen, then 30% will be withheld.)

Choosing the annual payments doesn't offer a tax haven either. A hefty 47 percent federal marginal rate applies, slicing each yearly payment to roughly $30.899 million. Over 30 years, this would aggregate to about $926,970,000.

Thankfully, our Californian winner can breathe a sigh of relief; the Golden State doesn't tax lottery winnings.

size-full wp-image-1263232477
Credit: Anadolu Agency / Getty Interest-ing Perspective

Here's a fun twist: what if our lucky winner decides to play the long game with their lump sum? With 2023's standard US interest rate at 5.5%, imagine this fortune benefiting from compound interest. The magic of earning interest on both the initial amount and the accumulated interest means that - within a mere decade, without lifting a finger - our winner would join the exclusive billionaire's club.

In conclusion, while the allure of becoming a Powerball billionaire is undeniably attractive, it's worth noting the maze of choices, implications, and financial intricacies that come with it.

But hey, it's a pretty fantastic problem to have, right? Anyway, I'm off to buy a ticket...

Featured image credit: Brandon Bell / Getty