Whether you play the lottery or not, you’ve probably heard about the latest jackpot prize. The Powerball jackpot climbed to $1.9 billion after Monday’s drawing. It’s the largest lottery jackpot in United States history.
During Wednesday night’s drawing, two tickets matched all five numbers. The winning ticket was sold at Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California. The odds of hitting the jackpot were 1:(75C5) x (15) – a good thing considering the odds of hitting the Mega Millions jackpot.
The Mega Millions jackpot is estimated to be about $1.1 billion in cash. The lottery’s spokesperson says 50% of ticket revenue goes to the prize pool.
The lottery has seen 210 winning jackpot tickets in the past 30 years. In the case of the Powerball, the winner can either receive a lump sum or a regular payment over 29 years.
The Powerball game format has since expanded its number pool, which has resulted in bigger jackpots. If you’re interested in winning the big money, you may want to consider choosing the annuity option. This means you’ll receive an annual payment for up to 29 years, but the amount will be reduced by Federal and local taxes.
For smaller prizes, the lump sum may be the better option. This depends on your goals and your state’s rules. Often, the bigger the prize, the higher the ticket price will be.
Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll need to decide how much of your winnings you want to take in one shot. The IRS requires a minimum withholding of 24%.