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The $473.1 million Powerball jackpot has a winner. Here is the tax

Joe Radle | News Getty Images | Getty Images

A single lottery ticket sold in Arizona can change someone’s life—after the IRS takes a cut of the windfall, of course.

Wednesday night’s Powerball draw saw one ticket match all six numbers to win a $473.1 million jackpot. The amount turned out to be higher than originally thought due to high ticket sales.

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The advertised figure is not what the winner will receive. Whether the prize is accepted as an annuity of 30 payments over 29 years or as an immediate reduced cash amount, taxes eventually eat into a large portion of the winnings.

For this jackpot, the required 24% federal tax withholding will reduce the $283.3 million cash option that most jackpot winners choose by about $68 million.

However, the maximum federal rate is 37%, so in most cases it will be paid at the time of taxation. To put it bluntly, if the winner didn’t have a reduction in income – such as significant charitable contributions from winnings – another 13%, or $36.8 million, would have to be owed to the IRS ($104.8 million in total).

Arizona state taxes will also be withheld, although the exact amount is unknown. The winner will have 180 days to claim the prize.


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