By SCOTT McFETRIDGE DES MOINES, Iowa – Despite the terrible odds – one of 302,500,000 to score at home –…
By SCOTT McFETRIDGE
DES MOINES, Iowa – Despite the terrible odds – one of 302,500,000 to score at home – someone will match all six numbers and win the Mega Millions jackpot, now $ 970 million . It can happen as soon as Friday night, when the next drawing is held.
That would let most of us disappoint, but some lucky winners possessed a lot of questions. Here are some answers for someone holding the prized lottery ticket for what would be the second largest lottery jersey in American history.
I & # 39; VE WON. NOW WHAT?
Lottery officials recommend that the winners take a deep breath, place their winning ticket in a safe place and consult a reputable financial planner before heading to the lottery headquarters. Their first decision is whether to take the cash option, which would now be $ 51
3 million, or an annuity, with a first payment and annual installments over 29 years. Almost every winner chooses money, but annuity has benefits, as it lowers the tax bill and provides a stable income flow that rises by 5 percent annually.
How long do I have to manage the hunt?
The states have different rules, so depending on where you bought the ticket you have from 180 days to one year.
GET MY MONEY INSTANT?
No, you can not only cash one of the oversized controls shown in all winners photos. Payment rates also vary with the state, but a week or two is common. Carole Gentry, a spokesman for the Maryland Lottery, said the requirement is seven to ten days in that situation.
CAN I KEEP MY NAME SAFETY?
Winners can remain anonymous in six states – Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina. In Arizona, people who win more than $ 600 can keep their names secret for 90 days after winning prizes, but after that, the names are public audiences. In Michigan, winners are anonymous if they do not win Mega Millions or Powerball prizes.
What about tax?
For winners of $ 5000 or more, all states automatically deduct 24 percent in federal taxes, but government taxes vary a lot. Some major states, including California, do not hold taxes from lottery winnings, and some like Texas do not have individual income taxes at all. For the rest, the state takes a bit, especially in New York, where a winner would have to pay a state tax of 8.8 percent. New York City residents would pay an extra tax of 3.9 percent. In general, taxes pay up almost half of the profits.
Melissa Labant, a tax policy expert at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, said that winners should realize that while taxes are initially retained when the prizes are awarded, more money is likely to be due at tax time when people suddenly have up to 37 percent tax rate .
“It captures people watch,” she said. “You must be prepared to write another check to the IRS in April.”
WHAT IS MY TAXES IF I DO NOT LIVE IN THE STATE I HAD BOOKED?
This can be complicated, but most of the time, winners pay taxes where they bought the ticket and then get a credit on their taxes in their home country. The final tax fee may depend on the state where you live taxes at a higher or lower rate than where you purchased the ticket. The rules vary depending on state, so this is a good topic for the financial planner.