All week, the climbing Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots have been awakening the frivolous dreamers inside of us.
The Kentucky Lottery says the Mega Millions jackpot is closer to $1 billion ahead of Friday's drawing.
The $970 million jackpot is paid out over 29 years if you choose the annuity option, or you can claim $548.6 million cash. As of Thursday afternoon, the Mega Millions jackpot stood at just under $1 billion - $970 million, to be precise.
This can get complicated, but for the most part winners pay taxes where they bought the ticket and then can get a credit on their taxes in their home state.
- Millions are on the line after this week's lottery drawings came and went with no victor.
Melissa Labant, a tax policy expert at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, said winners should realize that while taxes initially are withheld when prizes are awarded, more money likely will be due at tax time as people suddenly find themselves in a higher tax bracket.
Federal judge dismisses adult movie star’s defamation suit against Donald Trump
Trump attorney Charles Harder cheered Otero's decision and said the amount of legal fees owed would be determined later. She claims Trump lied when responding to her allegations that he forcibly kissed and groped her in 2007.
A single victor in New York City who opts for the $548 million cash jackpot would only bring home about half that much, $276 million, after all taxes are paid, according to calculations by H&R Block Inc. Prizes can range from $2 to $5 million depending on the game and type of ticket.
Lottery officials are happy to have Friday's record Mega Millions jackpot fueling ticket sales.
Reducing the number of balls for the first five numbers increases the chances of winning a smaller prize.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are 1 in 302 million.
Lottery officials recommend winners take a deep breath, put their winning ticket in a safe spot, and consult with a reputable financial planner before popping over to the lottery headquarters.
"It really draws in what we call the infrequent player", says Johnson. You can pick your own numbers or the computer will do it for you. When the jackpots flirt with the half-billion-dollar mark, state lotteries don't even feel the need to advertise, he said.