World record $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot sold one winning ticket

The $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot finally found a winner on Tuesday morning, after technical difficulties delayed the draw that was due to take place on Monday.

The massive prize marked the fifth time in the past five years that a lottery jackpot has crossed the $1 billion threshold – and this one was a world record.

The price had been growing for more than three months. The odds of winning were about one in 292.2 million, according to Powerball.

Lottery winners choose between receiving their winnings as an annuity – with payments over 30 years – or the more popular option, a one-time lump sum payment of a lower amount. (That’s the option “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary says you should choose.) The pre-tax lump sum payout for Tuesday’s winner would be $997.6 million.

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The previous Powerball jackpot winner came from the $206.9 million draw on August 3 – not a bad move, but now pales in comparison to a prize that topped the previous US jackpot record set in January 2016. This was also a Powerball draw that reached $1,586. billion and was split between three winning tickets.

Here is an overview of the best lottery prizes ever won so far.

1. $2.04 billion (Powerball)

A single winning ticket for the record-breaking Powerball draw was sold at a gas station and convenience store called Joe’s Service Center in Altadena, California, a community north of Los Angeles. While the business owner received a $1 million bonus from Powerball for selling the winning ticket, the identity of the ticket owner remains unknown.

California is not one of the US states where lottery winners have the option to remain anonymous, so the jackpot winner will eventually have to come forward and claim their winnings publicly. They will have up to one year from the date of the winning draw to claim the prize, under California Lottery rules.

When they show up, they’ll have to choose between the annuity option or the nearly $1 billion lump sum payment, which would likely result in a total tax bill of $369.1 million, based on the rate of highest federal tax of 37%.

If the prize were taxed as income in California, the winner would face an additional tax bill of over $120 million. But California, along with Delaware, is one of only two states that doesn’t tax lottery winnings as regular personal income, marking another stroke of luck for the winner.

2. $1.59 billion (Powerball)

This January 13, 2016 Powerball draw, for which three winning tickets were sold, held the record for the biggest lottery prize in history for more than six years, until this week’s Powerball draw left it. to fall.

The winners – John and Lisa Robinson in Tennessee, Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt in Florida, and Marvin and Mae Acosta in California – split the total prize money, giving them the possibility of approximately $533 million before taxes in the form of an annuity. or $327.8 million as a package. – payment of the sum.

The Robinsons’ winning ticket was one of four they purchased at a grocery store, they told NBC’s TODAY show. They chose to take the lump sum. “We’re not guaranteed tomorrow,” John says.

Florida-based Smith and Kaltschmidt also picked the lump sum. At the time, they planned to get a massage, upgrade their truck and retire with the newfound wealth, according to NBC.

The Acostas remained anonymous for months after winning, but released a statement saying they were grateful for the “rare gift entrusted to us”.

3. $1.54 billion (mega million)

The winner of that huge raffle in October 2018 also took its time to surface.

South Carolina is one of the few states that allows lottery winners to claim their prize anonymously. The ticket holder – who never came forward – finally claimed his winnings in March the following year, just over a month before the deadline to come forward or risk losing the prize.

The South Carolina Education Lottery Commission revealed that the winner chose the cash option for their prize, taking a one-time payment of approximately $878 million. It’s not a record jackpot, but this number still represents the biggest payout for a single lottery winner in US history, at least for now.

Based on the expected tax bill, the total win from this jackpot was likely around $491.7 million, after federal and state taxes – 7% South Carolina income tax, plus the federal rate. by 37%. Other taxes may also apply.

4. $1.34 billion (mega million)

The first $1 billion jackpot of 2022 topped $1.3 billion before finding a winner in July.

The winning player(s) purchased the lucky ticket at the Speedway convenience store in Des Plaines, Illinois, and opted in to the lump sum payout option of more than $780 million, according to Mega Millions.

Illinois allows lottery winners to remain anonymous, and whoever won this huge prize has chosen to remain unknown to the public.

5. $1.05 billion (mega million)

The fifth-biggest US lottery prize ever won in a January 2021 Mega Millions draw. The ticket was reportedly purchased by four members of a lottery club in the Detroit suburb of Novi. A lawyer representing the club claimed the award for them in March 2021.

“A club member saw a sign that the jackpot was up to $1 billion and remembered he hadn’t bought his tickets yet, so he entered the Kroger,” said Kurt Panouses, l estate lawyer and club representative, to reporters on behalf of the winners last year.

“When you play, of course you dream of winning, but the reality is unbelievable,” he said. “This kind of money will impact the families of our club members for generations to come. We plan to stay humble and pass it on through charitable giving in Southeast Michigan.”

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