If you’ve won the lottery, you may want to make sure your identity stays out of the public eye. Each state has different laws regarding how lottery winners should be identified. Keeping your identity private will protect you from scammers and long-lost “friends” who may want to rob you of your prize.
One way to get the maximum amount of money out of your lottery ticket is to join a lottery pool. By participating in a lottery pool, you can increase your chances of winning without increasing your investment. A group of employees at SEPTA in Philadelphia shared a $172.7 million Mega Millions jackpot in April 2012, while a group of seven people in the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal won a $319 million jackpot in 2011.
However, lottery winners need to be aware that they’ll owe taxes on their winnings. The federal government withholds approximately 24% of lottery winnings, but it varies by state. In the case of the Mega Millions jackpot, this would amount to $187.3 million in federal taxes. This is because the federal marginal tax rate is 37%.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are one in 302.5 million, but playing the lottery is still a gamble. However, if you are fortunate enough to win, you’ll be paid a lump sum of $602.5 million if you’re the winner. If you don’t win the jackpot, you can still cash out your winnings in annual installments.