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FutureStarrFlorida Woman in Lee County Won $126M in Last October's Mega Millions Drawing
Last October's Mega Millions drawing brought one lucky Lee County, Florida woman a whopping $126 million windfall. She is just one of many big winners in this game that has produced millions of dollars and tens of thousands of smaller rewards since its inception.
Mega Millions is available in 45 states and Washington, D.C., with Florida joining on May 15, 2013. Non-jackpot prizes from MEGA MILLIONS may be paid as one-time cash or 30 graduated annual installments.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions lottery are statistically indistinguishable from zero. That's good, because there are many things more likely to occur than hitting the big prize in Mega Millions.
According to the National Weather Service, your chances of being struck by lightning in a given year are about one in 1,222,000. And according to the National Wildlife Federation, your chances of being attacked by a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park are 1 in 2.7 million.
According to Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, your odds of being struck by an alligator in this state are roughly one in 3.1 million.
According to game officials, your chances of winning a million dollars on the Mega Millions jackpot are about one in 302,575,350. That's more than twice the odds of being struck by lightning on any given day - yet far less likely than hitting the Powerball jackpot!
That's an impressive distinction, especially as the Mega Millions jackpot has been rising faster than Powerball's in recent years. That means a lot more people are buying tickets in hopes of hitting it big.
Each Mega Millions drawing offers five numbers to choose from: white balls ranging from 1-70 and gold Mega Ball from 1-25. If you match all six numbers drawn in a drawing, you will win the jackpot and receive either an immediate cash payment or an annuity that pays out over 29 years.
You may purchase a ticket for smaller prizes that pay out smaller amounts. The odds of winning one of these smaller rewards is approximately 37 to 1.
Your chances of winning the jackpot are higher if you purchase multiple tickets; purchasing more increases your likelihood of getting a match of all six numbers. Conversely, if you only buy one ticket, your odds of getting all six numbers are approximately 1 in 89.
Discover your chances of winning a large prize by using either a random number generator or lottery software program. Some are free, while others require payment for access. Alternatively, buying lottery books gives an approximate idea of winning percentages.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are one in 302,575,350. That means the same odds apply to all players, whether you're one of millions who purchased a ticket or the only person left with one.
Playing Mega Millions is easy! Just pick five numbers from a pool of 70 or select the Mega Ball which draws from its own separate pool of 69.
However, winning the jackpot is much less likely than you might think. According to the National Weather Service, your chances of being struck by lightning in any given year are approximately one in a million.
Comparatively, your odds of winning the lottery are about one in 302,575,350. Furthermore, to guarantee yourself a victory in this draw, you must correctly guess all six numbers.
Increase your odds of winning the lottery by purchasing multiple tickets. However, make sure that each ticket has your name and address written on it so if it gets lost or someone else claims it, you have proof that it belonged to you.
Your chances of winning the Mega Millions jackpot depend on where you reside. Some states, like Alaska or Nevada, don't tax lottery winnings while others like California have high taxes that could significantly reduce your prize amount.
However, you should check the lottery website to determine how much of your prize is subject to taxation. The website can tell you what taxes would apply in your state as well as any other fees that might apply to your winnings.
If you're thinking about playing the Mega Millions lottery, make sure to consult with your state lottery to determine how much of any winnings will be subject to taxation. If unsure, consider purchasing a ticket from another state instead.
When you win a lottery prize, there are multiple taxes that may apply to you. The federal government can withhold anywhere from 24 to 37 percent of your earnings; additionally, state taxes may also apply depending on where you reside.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are astronomically high. According to the official lottery website, you have a 1 in 302.6 million chance of hitting it if all six numbers are correct - that's more likely than dying from lightning in one year (1 in 1.222,000) or being nonfatally injured by using the toilet, which actually occurs much more frequently!
If you win the jackpot, you have two options for taking your winnings: in a lump sum or 30 annual payments over 29 years. Both options come with an added 24% tax on winnings plus an additional 13% when filing taxes annually.
That means if you elect the lump sum option, you must pay approximately $531.1 million in federal taxes before spending any of your funds. Furthermore, when filing your 2023 tax return next year, an additional $268.1 million in taxes will be due.
If you opt for the annuity option, you would receive 30 payments of approximately $36.7 million each year before taxes. However, you would need to pay an additional $13.5 million in taxes each year, leaving a net amount each year from your prize of approximately $23.1 million.
By opting for the annuity option, your winnings are significantly greater than if you chose the lump sum option - your total winnings would have been $1.1 billion if chosen.
The amount of annuity payments is determined on an annual payment schedule, meaning they will vary annually. To view what your payments will be for any particular year, simply click the Annual Payment Schedule link provided below.
If you're uncertain of the tax burden that will fall upon the winner, consulting with a certified public accountant is your best course of action. They can estimate how much in taxes you owe and when those funds will have to be allocated.