During my lifetime, I have seen the birth of two major lottery programs. One was the Mega Millions lottery, which has had three billion dollar jackpots, and the other was the Powerball lottery, which has had a 10-figure jackpot.
First recorded signs of a lottery are keno slips from the Chinese Han Dynasty
Among the first recorded signs of a lottery are keno slips from the Chinese Han Dynasty (205-187 BC). These slips are believed to have been used to finance the construction of the Great Wall of China.
In the 16th century, the Netherlands often held lotteries to raise money for various public projects and for the poor. A record dated 9 May 1445 at L’Ecluse indicates that 4,304 tickets were sold to raise money for the construction of town walls.
In ancient China, keno was a game that consisted of selecting a series of characters. This game is referred to as “the drawing of wood” in the Chinese Book of Songs. The Book of Songs was written around the 2nd millennium BC.
Keno was also popular among Chinese immigrants who migrated to the United States in the 1800s. These immigrants introduced Keno to their American counterparts. After its legalization in the early twentieth century, Keno spread to other countries.
The Roman Empire used lotteries as a form of amusement. Emperors would often host parties and give out lottery tickets. Lotteries also proved to be a good tax alternative.
Powerball has a 10-figure jackpot
Depending on where you live, a Powerball lottery jackpot may not be as far off as you think. The odds of winning a lottery jackpot are one in 292 million.
Having a Powerball lottery ticket with all six numbers in the winning combination is the key to securing a 10-figure prize. The jackpot is the largest lottery prize in the world, but only one player has ever won the grand prize.
Powerball is played in the US, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. You can play either by picking five numbers from 1 to 69, or you can choose to play a red Powerball from 1 to 26.
The odds of winning a Powerball jackpot are one in 292.2 million. The Powerball lottery is the most popular lottery game in the United States. It’s played in 45 states and the District of Columbia. You can win a jackpot in a single drawing, or in a 30-year annuity. A cash prize is offered as well.
Mega Millions has had three billion-dollar jackpots
Among the many lottery games in the United States, Mega Millions has had three billion-dollar jackpots. Its largest jackpot was won in South Carolina, while its second-largest jackpot was won in Illinois.
The jackpot has not been won in the past 29 consecutive draws. A player in California missed out on a $830 million jackpot. The winner of the Mega Millions jackpot is eligible to take a cash option worth $780.5 million, before taxes. However, federal taxes can cut into the prize.
During the shutdown of New Jersey lottery terminals in July 2011, the jackpot was estimated at $830 million. A ticket was sold at a convenience store in Des Plaines, Illinois, about 20 miles from Chicago.
Mega Millions is drawn at 11 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesdays and Fridays. Players can purchase their ticket in 45 states, the District of Columbia and the United States Virgin Islands. A jackpot can be won by matching five numbers from 70 white balls. The odds of picking all six numbers are about one in 302 million.
Taxes on winnings
Depending on where you live, the amount of taxes on lottery winnings can be quite hefty. These taxes are often a surprise to lottery winners. Although they may not be able to avoid the taxes altogether, they can get their tax burden down by delaying the payment and using a lottery calculator to estimate taxes withheld.
Some states do not tax lottery winnings. Some of these states include Florida, California, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Alabama, Texas, and South Dakota. Others include Oregon, New Jersey, and New York.
The federal government taxes lottery winnings as ordinary income. When the prize is over $500, a tax of up to 37% is required. It is also important to remember that winnings in states with a high income tax rate can be taxed at a higher rate.
Lottery winners are required to report their winnings each year. These winnings are added to your annual income for the tax year in which you received them.