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Mega Millions jackpot is $785 million. Here’s the tax bill

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Of course, the advertised amount is only what you’d get if you were to choose to take your winnings as an annuity spread over three decades. The lump-sum cash option — which most winners choose — for this jackpot is $403.8 million, as of midday Tuesday.

Regardless of how you’d decide to receive your windfall, taxes would take a bite out of it.

$96.9 million in taxes would be shaved off cash option

What to do if you win the lottery

This means that unless you were able to reduce your taxable income by, say, making large tax-deductible charitable contributions, you would owe another 13% — or about $52.5 million — at tax time. That would bring your winnings down to $254.4 million. 

There also could be state or local taxes depending on where the ticket was purchased and where you live. Those levies range from zero to more than 10%.

Most Mega Millions players, though, won’t have to worry about paying millions of dollars to the IRS or state coffers: The odds of a single ticket matching all six numbers to land the jackpot is about 1 in 302.6 million.

Meanwhile, the Powerball jackpot is $291 million (with a cash option of $147.9 million) for Wednesday night’s drawing. The chance of hitting the motherlode in that game is slightly better: 1 in 292 million.


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