If you win the $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot, you’ll be hit with a massive tax bill in these states

January 6, 2023, 4:27 PM UTC
Updated January 12, 2023, 4:42 PM UTC
Tonight's Mega Millions jackpot hits half a billion dollars
The Mega Millions jackpot has topped $940 million—but the payout will be very different depending on what state you live in.
Tayfun Coskun—Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A new year, a new massive lottery jackpot is up for grabs: Friday’s Mega Millions prize has reached $1.35 billion, less than two months after the record $2.04 billion Powerball haul.

That’s a sizable sum, although the actual amount winners will receive depends on a few factors: whether they take the lump-sum cash payment or the annuity (most take the former); whether they live in a state that levies state taxes on lottery winnings; and how many other winners there are.

The $1.35 billion prize is based on the annuity pay out over 30 years; if winners take the cash option, as most financial experts advise, the payout falls to $707.9 million for Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot.

And that’s all before taxes, which will eat up around half of the jackpot. The top federal rate for individual income taxes in 2023 is 37%. So the winner would owe the IRS around $261.89 million on the lump sum, depending on a host of considerations including any deductions a winner might take, leaving you with roughly $446 million, according to USA Mega (it’s less than 37% of the total because of the U.S. marginal tax rate system). The first annuity payment would be worth around $28.39 million after federal taxes.

The IRS automatically takes 24% when you win, and then you will pay the rest of what you owe next year when you file your 2023 tax return.

Exactly how much will depend on where the winner lives. Some states, including Florida, Washington, and others, don’t levy state taxes, while the rest do to different degrees. (Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, and Utah do not sell Mega Millions tickets, although residents can buy them out of state.) That means winners in California and New York would take home different amounts: California doesn’t tax lottery winnings, while New York levies a 10.9% final tax.

Some jurisdictions may also impose local taxes. And state lotteries will deduct certain expenses, like delinquent child support payments, back taxes, and outstanding student loan payments. Winners should seek out a tax attorney before they claim their prize.

Here is how much each state withholds from lottery winnings for single federal tax filers, according to USA Mega

  • New York: 10.9%
  • New Jersey: 10.75%
  • Washington, D.C.: 10.75%
  • Oregon: 9.9%
  • Minnesota: 9.85%
  • Massachusetts: 9%
  • Maryland: 8.95%
  • Vermont: 8.75%
  • Wisconsin: 7.65%
  • Maine: 7.15%
  • Connecticut: 6.99%
  • Montana: 6.9%
  • Nebraska: 6.64%
  • Delaware: 6.6%
  • South Carolina: 6.5%
  • West Virginia: 6.5%
  • Iowa: 6%
  • Rhode Island: 5.99%
  • New Mexico: 5.9%
  • Idaho: 5.8%
  • Georgia: 5.75%
  • Virginia: 5.75%
  • Kansas: 5.7%
  • Mississippi: 5%
  • Illinois: 4.95%
  • Missouri: 4.95%
  • Arkansas: 4.9%
  • Louisiana: 4.75%
  • North Carolina: 4.75%
  • Oklahoma: 4.75%
  • Colorado: 4.55%
  • Kentucky: 4.5%
  • Michigan: 4.25%
  • Ohio: 3.99%
  • Indiana: 3.15%
  • Pennsylvania: 3.07%
  • North Dakota: 2.9%
  • Arizona: 2.5%

Residents of the following states won't owe state taxes on lottery winnings: Alabama, California, Florida, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming.

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