Unfortunately for the many Canadians who had ventured out across the border over the last week, the Powerball has been won by three Americans from California, Tennessee and Florida. This was the 19th roll-over of the game, which requires six balls to be matched to trigger the grand prize.
Of course, it’s early days, and with so many participants there could be yet more winners to reveal themselves. Obviously, we don’t exactly know how many people have won yet, but we think they’ll pop up soon because, you know, they’re filthy stinking rich and they’ll probably want their cash.
In California, the winning ticket was sold at a 7/11 store in Chino Hills, which is a suburb of Los Angeles. As soon as it was announced on twitter hordes of people surrounded the store, probably pretending they won. Maybe they’re buying their next set of tickets there, because, you know, Americans are pretty superstitious about that kind of thing.
So, what prize will the winners share?
Well, the winners have two options when it comes to sharing the $1.586 billion dollar prize:
They can share the prize after tax, which is a lump sum of $930 split between each three winner or they could agree to annuity payments which would release the prize over 25 years.
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Of course, the lump sum if after all relevant taxes have been paid, and will result in a prize of around $310 million per ticket. If they took the annuity payment, they would take home nearly all of the prize, but they’d have to wait for the winnings.
The amount of tax varies depending on which state each winner lives in. One thing remains the same though, the 39.6% levy the government takes from all lottery wins which occur in the USA. Ultimately, the government is the only guaranteed winner taking home a portion of every lottery win.
Was this the biggest jackpot ever won?
The current jackpot was $600 million more than any previous record held in the USA. The largest jackpot ever won before this was $656 million and was again shared by three other people. In Europe, jackpots are often lower, but they aren’t generally taxed. The largest win in Europe was $260 million, which is around £167.1 million! Still, not too shabby.
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