The Powerball winning numbers are almost in, and some lucky person or people could be closer to the all-time record $900 million prize.
The winning numbers will be drawn at 10:59 p.m. ET on Saturday (check back for updates once the numbers are picked).
[UPDATE: The winning numbers are in: 32-16-19-57-34 and the Powerball is 13.]
Whoever wins the Powerball drawing will be getting the largest single jackpot of any lottery in the history of the United States. It has already topped the $564.1 million Powerball jackpot turned out last February, climbing after Wednesday’s $500 million drawing failed to return a winner. It has now been more than two months without a winner, as the last Powerball winning numbers connected on November 4.
The largest jackpot of any kind to this point has been the $656 million Mega Millions jackpot won on March 30, 2012. If anyone hits the Powerball winning numbers on Saturday, they will have the option to take a lump sum of $496 million before taxes. They can also take the money over 29 years.
There is a chance that it could still grow even higher, USA Today noted. Lottery officials said a last-day buying frenzy, which is common when the jackpot is so large, could drive the final total even higher.
But how much the Powerball winner ends up with actually depends on where they live. While all winners pay the same federal income taxes to start with — 25 percent for U.S. citizens with a Social Security or tax ID number, and 28 percent if the winner doesn’t have one or is a foreign citizen — and then it continues to grow. The winner will have to claim the prize on their income taxes, CBS News reported, as they will pay the difference between the taxes already paid and the top rate of 39.6 percent.
The CBS News report noted that some winners are lucky. Those in Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming have no state personal income tax, and those in California and Pennsylvania are also exempt from paying taxes on lottery winnings.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) January 9, 2016
Others aren’t so lucky, the report added.
“‘If you win it in New York City, that’s where you’re going to come out taking home the least,’ said Gerald Prante, an economics professor at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia.
“New York City winners will pay the state tax of 8.8 percent and the city tax of 3.9 percent, Prante said. Combined with the federal rate, a city resident ends up paying 48.5 percent of the winnings in taxes, taking home $255.6 million. That means, Prante said, when you factor in state rules about deductions, that a New Yorker could pay $44 million more in taxes than a California winner.”
There are 44 states that participate in the Powerball lottery, as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The only states not participating are Nevada, Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, Alaska, and Hawaii. But there is no limit to who can win, so residents in those states, and even from outside the United States, are eligible to win.
But as ABC 7 in Chicago pointed out, the odds are still very, very remote.
The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 : 292,201,338. For some comparison, your chance of being struck by lightning in a year is about one in 960,000. But as lottery officials often note, you have no chance of winning if you don’t buy a ticket.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 9, 2016
The final Powerball winning numbers, including payouts, can be found here.
[Picture by Scott Olson/Getty Images]