$768.4 million Powerball Mega Jackpot winner to be revealed 23 April 2019

You may think that it is only the Mega Moolah slot that awards out some life-changing prizes, but on Tuesday 23rd April, 2019, one lucky inhabitant of Wisconsin in the United States will go public after winning the third largest lottery prize win in American history.

Over March, the Powerball jackpot in the United States had grown to huge proportions and by the end of the month, the prize fund had grown to the third largest amount ever seen in the game, a total of $768.4 million.

Officials knew that the ticket had been bought at a store somewhere in Wisconsin and since the jackpot was confirmed as being won, there has been huge interest in the United States to discover who the lucky winner is. Wisconsin, unlike other states, mandates that if a player wins a big prize on a lottery game, then they have no choice but to declare their win publicly,

That of course can be a double-edged sword. It is common-place for a lottery winner that goes public to receive a huge amount of mail and now social media interaction, from people who will try to persuade the winner to give them a slice of their winnings. This can put intolerable pressure on people to try and do the right thing. Indeed, it is one of the main reasons why in some other states of the United States, lottery winners can opt to remain anonymous should they win.

This is also the case in countries like the UK where on games like the National Lottery, Euromillions or on big money slots like Mega Moolah, any players that win huge amounts of money on the jackpots can elect to keep their details private and thus potentially avoid the influx of begging letters that do inevitably follow such a win.

However, Wisconsin's state legislature rules, known as the Open Records Law, that any lottery winners that land the top prize must go public with their win and since then, it has been a frantic hunt to first find the winner and to then keep this a secret before the big reveal on April 23.

The lucky winner, who bought their ticket in the town of New Berlin, will be attendance along with several Powerball jackpot employees and officials from the state of Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Department of Revenue Building in Madison, which lies west of Milwaukee near the town of Fitchburg.

How much will this lucky winner take home?

Although the winner of the third-largest lottery prize in American history is being reported as landing $768.4 million dollars, the actual amount they will receive will actually be considerably less due to a number of factors.

The first is whether the lucky winner decides to take their cash prize as a single lump sum, or if they would rather receive the full amount in a number of annual payments over the next 30 years. If the player elects to take the lump sum amount, then the lottery rules state that they will receive a smaller amount, which has been calculated at $477 million.

However, the United States is one of the most punitive countries in the world when it comes to winners of big lottery or jackpot prizes. Unlike countries such as the UK or New Zealand, players in the US that win big cash prizes on slot games, at casino games in Las Vegas for example, or who land a massive lottery prize also receive something else with their win. A hefty tax bill from the Inland Revenue Service.

First off, the winner will have to pay the highest rate of Federal Tax on their winnings, which is 37%. On top of that, Wisconsin State will also levy their own tax on the win of around 7.65%. That means 44.65% of their total winnings will be paid in taxes.

If the winner opts, as the vast majority do, to take their prize in a single lump sum then the amount they will receive is $477 million. However, they will then pay $176,490,000 in tax to the Federal Government from that win and then on top of that the Wisconsin State Tax will be levied, to the tune of $36,490,500, which means that the winner will face a total tax bill of $212,980,500.

This means that the winner, if they elect to take the lump sum payment, will actually receive to spend $264,019,500.

30 year annual payments

If the lucky winner is one of the few who elects to take their prize in 30 year annual payments, then they will, in theory receive the full amount of their win, $768.4 million. This amounts to annual payments of around $25.61 million.

However, they will still be liable for the 37 percent rate of Federal Tax plus the 7.65 percent tax for the Wisconsin State Tax, which means that each year they will face a total tax bill of around $11.43 million, leaving the winner with 'just' $14.2 million.

If the person lives long enough to claim the prize over the full 30-year term, then they would pocket a total of $426 million, with the rest of the jackpot win going in taxes. However, should the winner die before the end of the 30 years, then the payments will cease, which is why many people elect to take the smaller lump sum, rather than the annual payment option.

As one lucky winner once said when asked why they took the smaller lump sum "You aren't guaranteed tomorrow".

How do you win Powerball?

To win the Powerball lottery in the United States you have to match six numbers in total to win the prize. Players must select five numbers from a selection of standard numbers ranging from 1 through to 69, and then they must also select one Powerball number, which is a second number, highlighted in pink on the ticket, which must be between 1 and 26.

The odds of winning the jackpot is reckoned to be around 1 in 292 million.

The largest ever win in Powerball history was a $1.586.5 billion prize that was won in January 2016 by three winning tickets, who each pocketed $327 million after tax. The winners were based in Callifornia, Tennessee and Florida.

The only other lottery win larger than the win being announced today was a single ticket win of $887.8 million after taxes which was won in October 2018 by a player in South Carolina on the Mega Millions lottery. This is still the largest ever single ticket win in lottery history in the United States.

Byline: This article was published by Mega Moolah expert Henry. Media and other enquiries.

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