The Powerball jackpot saw a big winner Wednesday night, as a single ticket purchased in Tennessee matched all six numbers to claim a massive $257 million top prize — the second largest Powerball jackpot since September 18 of last year.
Powerball winners, and other lottery winners, can often take days or even weeks to come forward, as the consult attorneys and financial advisors to make sure that they can cope with the the pressures of overnight wealth. The identity of the Tennessee Powerball jackpot winner is unknown, and probably will remain a mystery for some time.
Wednesday night’s Powerball winner will also need to make a big decision: whether to take the payout as one lump sum, or as an annuity, spread out over 30 years. The lump sum payment is considerably less money. Wednesdays jackpot will be worth “only” about $152 million, before taxes, to the lucky Tennessee ticket holder.
But if the Powerball winner decides to take the full $257 million value of the jackpot, that person will collect a check for $4,582,335 right away. Then one check per year will show up every year with the amount getting bigger with every payment.
Finally, in the year 2043, Wednesday’s Powerball winner will receive a payment of $14,290,707, completing the entire $257 million payout.
Federal taxes will take a big bite either way. The lump sum Powerball payment after Uncle Sam gets his hands on the cash will leave the Tennessee winner with $113,925,000. The good news is, Tennessee does not collect state taxes on lottery winnings.
But financial experts say that a wise investor is better off taking the lump sum payment, even though the total dollar amount is only, in this case, 59 percent of the total Powerball jackpot. According to studies, investing a single giant windfall will yield a better return than investing smaller amounts over time — a result that holds true two out of every three times.
In other words, it’s a lot easier to make a lot of money if you already have a lot of money.
There were also four second-prize Powerball winners on Wednesday. One ticket each in Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania matched the first five numbers but not the Power Ball, for a $1 million prize.
Was your Powerball ticket a winner? Check your numbers against these, drawn at 10:59 pm in Tallahassee, Florida.
14 — 18 — 25 — 33 — 49 Powerball 23
The Powerball jackpot now resets to $40 million for Saturday’s drawing.