Despite incredible ticket sales of more than 370 million for both national lottery games, not a single ticket matched the winning number combination for either Mega Millions or Powerball this weekend, according to Lotto Report, As a result, more than $2.2 billion is up for grabs in the two drawings coming up on October 23 and 24.
The Mega Millions jackpot on Tuesday is valued at a record $1.6 billion, while Wednesday’s Powerball lottery carries a top jackpot prize of $620 million. That combined total of $2.22 billion is more cash than the gross domestic product (GDP) of numerous small countries. For example, the African nation of Liberia in 2017 had a GDP of $2.16 billion, according to Trading Economics. The Caribbean country of Belize had a GDP of $1.84 billion, while Saint Lucia generated $1.71 billion.
The $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot sets a new United States record, rising past the $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot won on January 13, 2016, according to USA Today. That 2016 Powerball prize was split among three winners, as noted by Portal Seven.
Both the $1.6 billion Mega Millions and $620 million Powerball jackpots are likely to increase as ticket sales likely exceed the weekend’s massive total. But as they stand now, a Mega Millions winner who chooses the “cash option,” or the jackpot in one lump sum rather than in 30 annual payments, will receive $904 million before taxes.
But what about after taxes? According to USA Mega, Uncle Sam would immediately skin 24 percent off the top of the $904 million, or $217,176,000 in federal taxes, right away, leaving a single winner, if there is one, with $687,724,000 in their pocket.
After federal taxes, state taxes then kick in. Different states charge different amounts of tax on lottery winnings and several — California, Delaware, Florida, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, and Wyoming — charge no tax at all on lottery prizes, according to USA Mega. But a typical state such as New Jersey charges in the neighborhood of 7 percent state tax. That percentage would take another $72,392,000 out of Tuesday’s Mega Millions jackpot, reducing the total to a $615,332,000 lump sum.
The last Mega Millions winner was named on July 24, when a group of 11 California co-workers claimed a $543 million jackpot, according to CNN. One New Yorker won Powerball on August 11, picking up a $245.6 million jackpot.
With the $1.6 billion Mega Millions standing as the largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, Powerball’s $620 million would stand as the sixth-largest, according to a CNBC report.