Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
New Year’s luck could end up making a Powerball player several hundred million dollars richer.
None of the tickets matched all six of the numbers drawn on Wednesday, which means the jackpot has gone up: that’s the announced $ 483 million for a Saturday night draw, up from $ 441 million. The top prize has been growing since October 4th – that’s 37 draws with no winner – when someone hit the $ 699.8 million jackpot.
While this means this is the conclusion of the Powerball draw in 2021, there have been six jackpots won this year for a total of $ 2 billion, ranging from $ 23.2 million to $ 731.1 million.
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Of course, the jackpot amount claimed reflects what you would receive if you claim the prize as an annuity, paid out in 30 installments over 29 years, and nearly all jackpot winners opt for the reduced amount lump sum option.
This year’s winners were no exception, with all opting for immediate cash, totaling $ 1.4 billion.
However, this is not yet where the winners ended up. The first to apply is a federal income tax of 24%. This collection reduced the total by $ 336 million, bringing winners to just over $ 1 billion.
Additional federal taxes generally also have to be paid given that the maximum income tax rate is 37%. And there will be government taxes, unless you live where lottery winnings are not taxed.
As for the Mega Millions, it has a jackpot of $ 221 million ($ 159.6 million in cash) for the last draw of the year, set for Friday night. There have been six jackpot winners in the game so far in 2021, with a total claimed winnings of $ 2.3 billion. The total cash option was $ 1.6 billion, and the 24% federal tax withholding reduced that amount by $ 384,000 to $ 1.2 billion.
However, the amounts that can be taken home are more than most people see in their entire lives. According to a study by Georgetown University’s Center for Education and Workforce, the median lifetime earnings of a worker is $ 1.7 million.
The odds of a single ticket hitting the jackpot in any game are slim: 1 in 292 million for Powerball and 1 in 302 million for Mega Millions.