Winner of eye-watering $1.58 billion Mega Millions jackpot has to make difficult decision after win

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By VT

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A new billionaire has been crowned in Florida after their numbers were drawn in the latest Mega Millions Lottery.

Mega Millions have confirmed that a winning ticket for the eye-watering $1.58 billion jackpot has been purchased, meaning there's currently someone in the Sunshine State that is about to receive the news of a lifetime.

Only things are not as straightforward as that. Before any money can be claimed, the winner must make arguably the biggest, most consequential decision of their life. And it will drastically impact the amount of money they receive.

This is not an uncommon occurrence with lottery winners, who must all make the same decision as will soon be made by one lucky person in Florida.

The winner can either choose to have the winnings spread out across a period of 30 years or they can receive one giant lump sum right now.

However, while a lump sum may sound like the most obvious option to some, it is actually the option that results in less cash being paid out to the winner. Of course, the reduced pot of $783.3 million is hardly a disaster of a discounted rate, but the question is there to be pondered over by the winner.

In addition to Mega Millions holding back a few hundred million dollars in the event of a lump sum settlement, the taxman must also take his share, which will reduce the pot further to $595.3 million, as the winner faces a federal tax rate of 24 percent. So roughly half of the actual jackpot will be left once that has been paid to the government.

And, if the winner is already a higher earner, they could be taxed as much as 37 percent, which would reduce their pot down to $493.5 million. So a loss of over a billion dollars before the big novelty cheque has even been presented.

On the other hand, the regular payments spread out over three decades sees the winner claim the entire $1.58 billion in staggering drops of  $52.6 million. Again, the government would also take its slice of this pie, slashing each payment to $33.1 million.

Once the 30-year payment period is over, the winner will have received a grand total of $993 million, with the rest being gobbled up by taxes.

Either way, whatever happens, there's someone out there right now in the Sunshine State just waiting to have their life changed forever. And $493.5 million right now or a monthly salary of $33.1 million for the next 30 years is not a bad problem to have.

Although who knows, we could also have a situation like the one that unfolded in Chicago last summer, where a Mega Millions winner failed to come forward over a month after their numbers came up, leaving a $1.34 billion jackpot unclaimed.

Speaking a week after the ticket had been bought, Illinois Lottery Director, Harold Mays said: "For a prize of this magnitude, it’s not unusual for the winner to take a while to claim. I’m sure they’re going through a range of emotions.”

Mays added: "We will work closely with the winner to respect any wishes for privacy and support them in any way we can to provide a positive winning experience."

We don't know about you, but with a jackpot that size we would have spent half of it before even having the chance to claim it.

Featured Image Credit: Scott Olson/Getty

Winner of eye-watering $1.58 billion Mega Millions jackpot has to make difficult decision after win

vt-author-image

By VT

Article saved!Article saved!

A new billionaire has been crowned in Florida after their numbers were drawn in the latest Mega Millions Lottery.

Mega Millions have confirmed that a winning ticket for the eye-watering $1.58 billion jackpot has been purchased, meaning there's currently someone in the Sunshine State that is about to receive the news of a lifetime.

Only things are not as straightforward as that. Before any money can be claimed, the winner must make arguably the biggest, most consequential decision of their life. And it will drastically impact the amount of money they receive.

This is not an uncommon occurrence with lottery winners, who must all make the same decision as will soon be made by one lucky person in Florida.

The winner can either choose to have the winnings spread out across a period of 30 years or they can receive one giant lump sum right now.

However, while a lump sum may sound like the most obvious option to some, it is actually the option that results in less cash being paid out to the winner. Of course, the reduced pot of $783.3 million is hardly a disaster of a discounted rate, but the question is there to be pondered over by the winner.

In addition to Mega Millions holding back a few hundred million dollars in the event of a lump sum settlement, the taxman must also take his share, which will reduce the pot further to $595.3 million, as the winner faces a federal tax rate of 24 percent. So roughly half of the actual jackpot will be left once that has been paid to the government.

And, if the winner is already a higher earner, they could be taxed as much as 37 percent, which would reduce their pot down to $493.5 million. So a loss of over a billion dollars before the big novelty cheque has even been presented.

On the other hand, the regular payments spread out over three decades sees the winner claim the entire $1.58 billion in staggering drops of  $52.6 million. Again, the government would also take its slice of this pie, slashing each payment to $33.1 million.

Once the 30-year payment period is over, the winner will have received a grand total of $993 million, with the rest being gobbled up by taxes.

Either way, whatever happens, there's someone out there right now in the Sunshine State just waiting to have their life changed forever. And $493.5 million right now or a monthly salary of $33.1 million for the next 30 years is not a bad problem to have.

Although who knows, we could also have a situation like the one that unfolded in Chicago last summer, where a Mega Millions winner failed to come forward over a month after their numbers came up, leaving a $1.34 billion jackpot unclaimed.

Speaking a week after the ticket had been bought, Illinois Lottery Director, Harold Mays said: "For a prize of this magnitude, it’s not unusual for the winner to take a while to claim. I’m sure they’re going through a range of emotions.”

Mays added: "We will work closely with the winner to respect any wishes for privacy and support them in any way we can to provide a positive winning experience."

We don't know about you, but with a jackpot that size we would have spent half of it before even having the chance to claim it.

Featured Image Credit: Scott Olson/Getty