Powerball and Taxes - What The Winner Keeps

How much did a Passaic, N.J., man really win when he hit Saturday's Powerball jackpot?
A lot less than the $338 million on the ceremonial check presented to him Tuesday at state lottery headquarters.

Dominican immigrant Pedro Quezada, a bodega owner, wasn't the only one to hit the jackpot. So did Uncle Sam and the State of New Jersey.
So much so that Quezada is likely to be shocked to find out that despite vast sums already withheld from his winnings, he'll still face an enormous tax bill, as pointed out by a recent analysis by Forbes.

OK, nobody's going to sorry for the guy, but watch how the money disappears.

$338.3 million was the advertised jackpot, but that's the annuity amount, payable in 30 yearly installments.
Almost everybody takes the cash instead. Quezada, who claimed the prize Tuesday, said he would, too.
That's worth $211 million, the second biggest cash prize ever for a single ticket.

Of course, as is widely reported, a 25 percent chunk always gets withheld for Uncle Sam.
So kiss about $52.75 million goodbye.
That leaves $158.25 million.
Which isn't close to what he gets to keep.

New Jersey withholds 3 percent. Kiss another $6.3 million goodbye.
Thus, $152 million is roughly what Quezada can put in the bank.
Not that he'll get to keep it.
And we're not counting the $29,000 he allegedly owes for child support.

Since 2009, the Garden State has taxed lottery wins worth $10,000 or more as regular income, points out Todd Northrop of LotteryPost.com. The current top rate is 8.97 percent - one of the highest in the nation.
So that's another $12.6 million on top of the withheld $6.3 million.
We're down to $139.35 million.

But wait. The federal rate isn't 25 percent. The top income-tax rate is a hefty 39.6 percent, up from 35 percent last year.
The one-year hike alone contributes a bite of about $9 million.
Subtract 39.6 percent of what's left after the state-tax deduction, and, after taxes, Quezada should have about $116 million.

That's $95 million for Uncle Sam and Cousin Chris.

Although $59 million gets siphoned off upfront, that leaves quite a tax bill.
$36 million.
Easy come, easy go.

After 25 percent is withheld, Quezada will have to fork over nearly another 25 percent of what's left.
The total tax bite: About 45 percent.
Way more than 25 percent.

Giving money to charity would help, Forbes points out, but if he plans to give millions away to worthy causes, he'd be smart to do it this year, so he gets the largest tax deduction.
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Keep taxes in mind while playing. No winner (and no taxes) last night for Mega Millions. Tonight’s Powerball is a notch above the minimum.
POWERBALL
03/30/2013
$50,000,000 est
Cash Option:$31,200,000

MEGA MILLIONS
04/02/2013
$42,000,000 est
Cash Option:$31,000,000

Good Friday Matthew 27:32-61

Matthew 27:32-61

Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled to bear His cross. And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.

Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:

“ They divided My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.”

Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him:

THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Workers Win $1 Million Powerball Prize…and Share It!

Imagine you work in a small office. A group of co-workers asks if you'd like to go in on some Powerball tickets. You decline. You're on a tight budget, and you've only been there a few weeks, anyway.
You show up for work the next day to find out they won.

That's exactly what happened to Jennifer Maldonado, an administrative assistant at Keller Williams Partners Realty in Plantation, Fla., whose co-workers matched five numbers in Saturday's $338 million Powerball drawing, winning $1 million.

Co-worker Laurie Finkelstein Reader bought 120 tickets—or $240 worth—at a Mobil gas station in Pembroke Pines after collecting $20 from nearly everyone in the office. According to the Miami Herald, Reader offered to lend Maldonado the money since she hadn't received her first paycheck, but Maldonado said no thanks.

When Maldonado showed up for work, "everyone was there, screaming, jumping, running, hugging, crying," according to the paper.
“I knew I was the only one who hadn’t put in the money, so I thought they were pranking me,” Maldonado said.

It wasn't a prank—and, even better, Maldonado's co-workers plan to share their winnings, roughly $83,333 per person after taxes, with her.
"It’s about sharing the happiness," Reader said.
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No one hit the Powerball Jackpot last night so it and Mega Millions continue to grow.

POWERBALL
03/30/2013
$50,000,000 est
Cash Option:$31,200,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/29/2013
$34,000,000 est
Cash Option:$25,100,000

Man Scratches Two Winners - One a $3 Million Winner

Chadd Bill of Clay, NY won $200 on the first lottery ticket he bought on Feb. 27. The second ticket he bought later that day will pay for his three children to go to college, and a lot more.

Bill, 32, a self-employed carpenter and father of three, won $3 million in the 50X the Money scratch-off game, the New York State Lottery announced this week.
According to Syracuse.com, Bill was a double winner that fateful February day. An occasional lottery player, the first ticket he bought that day was a $200 winner.

Later that evening, as he was going to pick up his son from basketball, Bill stopped for a cup of coffee.
On a whim, he decided to buy another lottery ticket. The machine spit out a ticket indicating it was one of four remaining tickets in the machine for the game. Bill decided to buy the other three tickets.

He went back out to his truck to scratch the tickets and the word “Jackpot” appeared under the number 5. “The first ticket I scratched off was a winner,” Bill said.
“The first thing that went through my mind was my kids could to go a good college,” Bill said. “It was a huge relief.”
He went back into the store to check the ticket. “I wouldn’t let the lady hold it when she scanned it in. I would not let go,” Bill said.

Going back out to the truck, he called Jennifer, his wife of 10 years. He told her he’d won the lottery and their three kids were going to college.
It took a while for the truth to set in, she said. “I thought he was joking.”
Next, Bill went to pick up his young kids, whom the Clay couple declined to identify.
“They’re too young to comprehend it,” he said. But one day, they’ll understand that their dad won the lottery, Bill said.

Bill’s winnings will be paid out in annual installments of $150,000 a year for 20 years, or $99,270 a year after taxes.
Bill wouldn’t talk about his finances, other than to say the winnings will help. He said he will continue to work remodeling homes.
- - - - -
Sounds like Bill is a smart guy. He opted to take the prize paid over 20 years rather than as a lump sum, which saved him from paying a higher income tax rate. He’s using the winnings to secure the future and he had an immediate plan for the winnings. Bill also wouldn’t let the store clerk take the ticket from him, which is the right thing to do. Congratulations Bill!
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There was no jackpot winner in last night’s Mega Millions drawing to it continues to inch upward. Tonight’s Powerball jackpot is at the minimum after last Saturday’s win.

POWERBALL
03/27/2013
$40,000,000 est
Cash Option:$25,000,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/29/2013
$34,000,000 est
Cash Option:$25,100,000

Immigrant Wins Powerball

Even though the ticket has not been claimed at the New Jersey Lottery, USA Today reports a 44-year-old immigrant from the Dominican Republic is the winner of a $338 million Powerball lottery jackpot.

Pedro Quezada was told he won the jackpot when he walked into the Eagle Liquors in Passiac, N.J., to check his ticket Monday, the New York Daily News reported.

Customers in the store erupted in cheers as Quezada called his wife.

"I'm the millionaire, Ines, put on the TV so you can see me, or come down to the liquor store right now," the Daily News reported an emotional Quezada shouted.

Pedro Quezada told reporters that his first priority will be helping his family.

His wife, Ines Sanchez, told the Bergen Record that Quezada called her with the news Monday afternoon.

"I still can't believe it," she said. "We never expected it but thank God."

The family's apartment sits in Passaic, part of the working-class suburbs sprawling from New York City. Neighbors stood out in the rain Monday night and spoke with pride that one of their own had struck it rich.

Eladia Vazquez described Quezada and his wife as "quiet and not overly talkative" but sensed that they seemed to be working all the time.

"This is super for all of us on this block," she said. "They deserve it because they are hardworking people."

Richard Delgado, who lives down the block from Quezada's building, said the man was "a hard worker, like all of us here. We all get up in the morning and go to work."
- - - - -
With Powerball being won, both multi-state lotto games have lower jackpots. Powerball goes to a minimum guarantee of $40 million and Mega Millions is below the Powerball jackpot.

POWERBALL
03/27/2013
$40,000,000 est
Cash Option:$25,000,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/26/2013
$26,000,000 est
Cash Option:$19,200,000

Powerball Press Conference Today

Somebody woke up yesterday a whole lot richer as one Powerball ticket worth $338.3 million hit all 6 numbers, and lottery officials in New Jersey are holding a press conference today to reveal some details about the matching ticket from Saturday's drawing.
The winning numbers from Saturday night's drawing: 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31. It's the fourth-largest jackpot in Powerball history. A lump sum payout would be $221 million.

Other Powerball players who got the first 5 numbers correct but missed the Powerball number also stand to get rich. One Powerball ticket that matched five numbers plus the PowerPlay, sold in Iowa, is good for $2 million. Spreading the wealth even further, 13 tickets worth a cool $1 million each were sold in 11 states. Florida and Pennsylvania each had two; Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, South Carolina and Virginia had one each.

Powerball Won in New Jersey

A single ticket sold in New Jersey matched all six numbers in Saturday night's drawing for the $338.3 million Powerball jackpot, lottery officials said. It was the 13th drawing held in the days since a Virginia man won a $217 million jackpot Feb. 6.
Thirteen other tickets worth $1 million each matched all but the final Powerball number on Saturday night. Those tickets were sold in New Jersey and 10 other states. Lottery officials said there was also one Power Play Match 5 winner in Iowa.
The New Jersey Lottery said Sunday that details about the winning ticket would be released Monday, declining to reveal where it had been purchased and whether anyone had immediately come forward. It was the sixth largest jackpot in history.
The numbers drawn were 17, 29, 31, 52, 53 and Powerball 31. A lump sum payout would be $221 million.

Powerball is huge! You have better odds of...

Tonight’s Powerball Jackpot will be in excess of $320 million, but will you rush out and buy a ticket?

Forty-four states currently offer Powerball. The odds of striking it rich? 175 million to 1.

Here are some things more likely than winning the Powerball and becoming an instant millionaire, courtesy of Huffington Post:

Picking a perfect NCAA bracket. Odds: 13,460,000 to 1
Becoming an astronaut. Odds: 12,100,000 to 1
Becoming president. Odds: 10,000,000 to 1
Becoming a movie star. Odds: 1,505,000 to 1
Dying in an asteroid apocalypse. Odds: 12,500 to 1
Losing an appendage to a chainsaw. Odds: 4,464 to 1
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Nobody won the other multi-state lottery game, Mega Millions, last night so next Tuesday’s jackpot is larger. Grab your Powerball tickets early to avoid lines. If Powerball isn’t won tonight, next Wednesday could see a jackpot in excess of 1/2 Billion dollars.

POWERBALL
03/23/2013
$320,000,000 est
Cash Option:$198,300,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/26/2013
$26,000,000 est
Cash Option:$19,200,000

Family FIght Over $51 Million Lotto Win Ends

More than one family has been torn apart after winning the lottery. In this story, it appears that a son’s deception started at the very moment his mother won the lotto where he convinced mamma it was best if he signed the winning ticket.

According to KGET, a year after winning the big $51 million Mega Millions jackpot, Bakersfield resident Etta May Urquhart took her son to court saying he commandeered the money and went on a spending spree.

The lawsuit has now been dismissed following a settlement agreement.

75-year-old Etta May Urquhart sat beside her son Ronnie Orender in May 2011 and happily accepted the $51 million check fro the California Lottery.

The family took a $32 million lump sum payout, and Urquhart says her son hijacked the money soon after it was deposited at Moneywise Investments.

Last May, Urquhart filed a lotto lawsuit claiming Ronnie bought four different houses under his name, ten cars and a boat.

The lawsuit was dismissed as both sides carried out a settlement.

Property records suggest part of the settlement included Orender transferring title to some of the homes back to Urquhart.
Her lawsuit suggests Etta May bought the winning ticket, but was so nervous to sign paperwork to claim the winnings, she let her son sign on her behalf.

And, to deflect the media attention, Urquhart says she agreed to tell everyone she bought the ticket for her son who told us two years ago he did have plans for the money.

Now it appears, the year-long battle over the cash has to come an end, though Orender's lawyer declined to say whether mother and son have reconciled.
- - - - -
You can have your own family fight if you win Powerball this Saturday.

The Powerball jackpot grew to $320 million after no one ticket matched all six numbers Wednesday night. The jackpot could grow even bigger prior to the next drawing on Saturday, March 23, the Associated Press reports.

The largest jackpot in the history of the multi-state lottery was worth $580 million, and was split between winners in Missouri and Arizona in November 2012.

Powerball is played in 42 states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In April 2013, California will begin selling Powerball lottery tickets,

What would you do if you won the lottery? Buy Bono's guitar?

The celebrities were bidding high, but it was a Lotto winner who managed to secure a prized guitar donated by Bono at Brian O'Driscoll's testimonial.

The unnamed UK National Lottery winner was one of 2,000 guests at the former Ireland rugby captain's event held in London on Monday night.

And he was also clearly a music fan -- as he bought the U2 frontman's guitar for 175,000 pounds during the auction.

Personally I’d pay to hire U2 perform in my back yard for a small party of friends.
- - - - -
Nobody picked up the multi-state Powerball jackpot last night so next Saturday’s jackpot zooms past $300 Million. Mega Millions for Friday is still at the bottom of the heap.

POWERBALL
03/23/2013
$320,000,000 est
Cash Option:$198,300,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/22/2013
$20,000,000 est
Cash Option:$14,700,000

Lottery Gets a Kwikie Marketing Lesson

What do you call your instant scratch game? Instants? Scratchers? A single memorable word is for the brand ar better than “Instant Lottery Scratch game”. right?

Maine Lottery players can still get instant scratch lottery tickets, but they can't get "Kwikies."
The Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations announced Monday that the state's instant tickets will not be branded as "Kwikies."

A few weeks ago, the Maine Lottery sent a pamphlet out to its 1,300 retailers, saying it plans to name the tickets “Kwikies.”

“I thought that’s going to be real uncomfortable for my girls behind the register to have guys come in and say ‘Hey, give me a Kwikie,’” said David Welch, a Maine lottery retail agent.

Director Gerry Reid that the initial response to the new brand name was positive, but that it quickly became apparent that the suggestive name was offensive. The slang term "quickie" refers to a sexual encounter, and the lottery name didn't go over well.

As Reid put it, "the negative concerns were clear" after getting feedback on the branding proposal. The name was never officially implemented by the Maine State Lottery.
- - - - -
In multi-state lotto games, there was no winner in last night’s Mega Millions drawing so the jackpot grows. The Powerball jackpot is very attractive for tonight’s drawing.

POWERBALL
03/20/2013
$260,000,000 est
Cash Option: $161,100,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/22/2013
$20,000,000 est
Cash Option: $14,700,000

Lottery Winners Anonymous Part II

New Jersey Lottery winners would have the option of staying anonymous for one year under a bill that is now headed to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk, according to NJ.com.
The state Senate voted unanimously to pass the measure which cleared the Assembly without opposition in December.
Under current law, winners' identities are public information, and the state Lottery Commission can publicize their names, hometowns, prize winnings and photographs.
Assemblyman John Burzichelli, a sponsor, said lottery winners face all kinds of pitfalls once people find out they’ve struck it right.
“Winning the lottery can be a blessing and a curse. Once their identities become public, lottery winners can become targets for unscrupulous individuals and scam artists looking to get a piece of their winnings. In worst case scenarios, lottery winners have been kidnapped and killed,” Burzichelli said. “Unless the individual wants his or her identity revealed, residents who are lucky enough to win the lottery should have the option to remain private for the sake of their own safety.”
- - - - -
Tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot remains near the minimum level. Tomorrow’s Powerball multi-state lotto game has a huge jackpot.
MEGA MILLIONS
03/19/2013
$13,000,000 est
Cash Option:$9,500,000

POWERBALL
03/20/2013
$260,000,000 est
Cash Option:$161,100,000

Indiana Gulf War vet wins $1 million from lottery

A Gulf War veteran from Valparaiso Indians won $1 million last Friday from the Hoosier Lottery's Lucky Millionaire second-chance promotion according to WANE.com.

Chris Ziegler, a father of four, was one of five randomly selected finalists eligible to win the $1 million prize. Ziegler was also a finalist in the previous Lucky Millionaire drawing in September 2012. He kept entering his non-winning tickets into the second-chance drawing . In January, one of his entries was drawn, giving him a place in Friday's $1 million drawing.

"Everything happens for a reason," said Chris's wife Amy. "By not winning the first time, it feels that much more surreal."

Ziegler currently works as an EMT on an ambulance. He has four children, ages two to 15.

"Right now, I'm just trying to comprehend it. It feels amazing to know that we'll have that much money to take care of things, that the kids will be taken care of," Ziegler said.

Amy, an emergency room RN, says the couple will still work full-time.

The couple said they plan to meet with a financial advisor before they purchase a house and pay off cars.
- - - - -
Good for them! Second chance drawing are a good way to win a substantial prize with usually better odds than on the regular game. They are doing the right thing by meeting with financial advisors before spending any of the money.

You will definitely want to seek financial advice if you win either of the multi state lottery games.

POWERBALL
03/20/2013
$260,000,000 est
Cash Option:$161,100,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/19/2013
$13,000,000 est
Cash Option:$9,500,000

Last year's St. Patrick’s Day lottery winnings claimed just in time

Three Chicago-area relatives stepped forward only three days before $1 million in lottery winnings they won from last year's St. Patrick's Day drawing would have expired, Illinois Lottery officials said.

The winning ticket was sold at a Wood Dale gas station during a St. Patrick's Day raffle promotion last year.

The names of the winners are not yet being released, but officials said their lawyer presented the winning ticket Thursday at a Lottery office in Des Plaines.

The winnings were claimed in the nick of time because lottery tickets expire exactly a year after the drawing, meaning midnight Sunday is the deadline in this case.
- - - - -
Powerball is getting huge as there was no winner last night. Mega Million is struggling to grow after a win in Ohio last week.

POWERBALL
03/20/2013
$260,000,000 est
Cash Option:$161,100,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/19/2013
$13,000,000 est
Cash Option:$9,500,000

St. PAtrick's Day Comes Early to Oregon

The Oregon Lottery announced the winning number for the St. Patrick's Day Raffle, which has a $1 million top prize.

The winning number was 079228.

The raffle also included 10 cash prizes of $20,000 and 1,000 cash prizes of $100.

A complete list of all 1,011 winning Raffle numbers can be found on the
lottery’s website. Players also can check their raffle ticket numbers at any Oregon Lottery retail location.

With high overall odds raffles present the best odds of wining the top prize. In Oregon this raffle had odds of winning the $1 Million at one in 250,000.
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Avoid line and get your tickets early for Saturday’s Powerball game. With a jackpot of $216 Million it is generating a lot of excitement.

Montana Becomes the Next Lottery State

Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead signed the recently passed lottery bill late yesterday, according to spokesman Renny MacKay.

The bill's passage culminated a 14-year effort by supporters. A lottery bill had never cleared the House and advanced to the Senate prior to this year.

The compromise between the House and Senate versions distributes the first $6 million in annual profit to cities, towns and counties. Further proceeds will flow into the Common School Permanent Land Fund for education.

"This is a good middle ground," House Majority Floor Leader Kermit Brown, R-Laramie, told fellow members. "If you like a lottery, vote for it." The House voted 33-25 in favor of the compromise.

Sen. Bruce Burns, R-Sheridan, pointed out the bill dedicates $200,000 in unclaimed winnings to the Wyoming Department of Health to treat people with gambling addictions. He said the gambling addictions would probably be caused by other forms of gambling than the lottery. People have to wait to find out if they won the lottery so it does not offer instant gratification, he said.

Prior to Tuesday's compromise, the Senate version dedicated all proceeds to the school fund. The House version dedicated all profits to local governments.

"This is reasonable compromise," Sen. Charles Scott, R-Casper, said.

The Senate adopted the changes, 17-13.

The bill has a sunset date which requires legislators to evaluate the program in six years and decide if should continue.

The bill's sponsors have said repeatedly they have no firm estimate of how much money the lottery will raise but some put forth a $6 million per year estimate is based on North Dakota's lottery.
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There was no Powerball jackpot winner last night which puts next Saturday’s jackpot well over $200 Million. Mega Millions is at its starting point due to a winner in Ohio last Tuesday.

POWERBALL
03/16/2013
$216,000,000 est
Cash Option:$132,800,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/15/2013
$12,000,000 est
Cash Option:$8,700,000

I've Won the Lottery - Let's wait 11 Months to Claim Prize

Some people should save their money and not play the lottery. A Rhode Island man has finally claimed a $10,000 Mega Millions winning ticket from the April 12, 2012 drawing. And just in time. The winning ticket was set to expire in one month, according to the RI Lottery.

The man says he didn't know what to do with the money so he kept the ticket locked up in a safe. After claiming the prize 11 months after the win, he says he still doesn't know what to do with it, but says his wife will probably find something to spend it on, according to the lottery commission.

The man did mention that they might go back to Costa Rica for their anniversary.

My opinion is if you have no idea what do to with the money if you win the lottery, then please don’t play!
Dream on lotto players. Tonight’s Powerball jackpot could change your life…unless you win and decide to hide the ticket in your safe! Mega Millions was won in Ohio last night so the jackpot returns to the guaranteed minimum.

POWERBALL
03/13/2013
$183,000,000 est
Cash Option:$112,500,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/15/2013
$12,000,000 est
Cash Option:$8,700,000

There's a Lotto Crooks Behind the Cash Register

I always advise lottery players to NEVER hand a store clerk a bunch of tickets to run through the lotto terminal to check if they are winners. You may be unwittingy handing your lottery winnings over to a thief. Here’s just one example:

Two people have been arrested and accused of stealing winning lottery tickets from a store in Greensboro, NC. The News & Record of Greensboro reported (http://bit.ly/14R9QDR) the arrests were made following a sting operation last month. A detective presented a winning ticket at a store and the clerk ran it through the lottery computer. The clerk, Yogesh Jayantibhai Patel, 47, ran the Bonus Crossword Game ticket through the computer. Although the computer made a tone, indicating the ticket was a winner, Patel told the detective it was a loser, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office said.

The Guilford County sheriff's office said Patel and 50-year-old Minaben Yogesh Patel cashed the ticket the next day.
- - - - -
Tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot has exceeded the $40 Million mark. Wednesday sees a much larger Powerball jackpot.
MEGA MILLIONS
03/12/2013
$41,000,000 est
Cash Option:$29,900,000

POWERBALL
03/13/2013
$183,000,000 est
Cash Option:$112,500,000

Lotto Winner Takes Lump Sum-Did He Do The Right Thing?

An out-of-work San Francisco Bay Area man and his wife, came forward Friday to claim a $33 million California SuperLotto Plus jackpot.

According to the California Lottery Massoud Ardalan loves pumpkin seeds, and they aren’t easy to find. So when he found them at Heather Farm Shell, he made that his regular stop for pumpkin seeds, gas, and his Lottery tickets. However on Wednesday, he only had $15 – $10 for gas and $5 for Lottery tickets – which meant no money for pumpkin seeds. The trade-off worked out well, because the fifth line of his Lottery numbers were the ones that counted – they won him a $33 million SuperLotto Plus jackpot. Ardalan and his wife of 25 years, Homeira, came forward last week to claim their multi-million dollar prize. The prize is estimated to come to about $23 million once it is cashed out according to lottery officials.

Ardalan, a reprographics manager by trade, was having a regular day on Thursday, dropping Homeira off at work and then going to look for work himself. Ardalan was laid off in November after being with the same company for 16 years. Once he got home, he had a message from a friend telling him that someone in Walnut Creek had won the $33 million SuperLotto Plus jackpot and that he should check his tickets. He did. He couldn’t believe his eyes…all six numbers matched! He went back to see his wife at the salon where she works as a hairdresser and asked her to come outside, he had something to tell her: “We won the Lottery,” he said. Even as they recounted the story, Homeira’s eyes sparkled and she giggled, “I didn’t believe him.”

Ardalan plans to start his own business, possibly in reprographics, and put his friends and family who are out of work, back to work. He also may buy some rental properties and a salon for his wife to run. Ardalan explained through laughter, “That’s a lot of money, we can do a lot of things, buy a lot of pumpkin seeds! Maybe buy a pumpkin seed factory!”
- - - - -
In my opinion it was correct for them to take the jackpot in lump sum. The $33 Million jackpot is paid over 26 years in California which would give them almost $1.27 million a year. With current Federal income tax rates approaching 40%, I think its safe to say those tax rates will not go down, and may increase over the next 25 years. With a payout that pushes the yearly winnings into the top tax bracket, you are far better off taking a one time tax hit on the $23 Million lump sum, then investing it where the earnings are taxed at the lower capital gains tax rate for long-term investments.

Powerball Winnings Put To Good Use

An Iowa couple who won almost $200 million in a Powerball lottery draw has decided to use some of their winnings to open the first grocery store in their town.

Brian and Mary Lohse won the lottery in September last year and immediately knew they wanted to put some of their winnings back into their community, KCCI News reports.
The Iowa town where the couple lived did not have a grocery store and residents had been forced to travel to a nearby town to shop.
The couple decided to change that, announcing they would open a store in Bondurant in late April.
"It'll just be a little mom-and-pop type shop that will focus on some unique things." Mr Lohse said of the planned store.
The project will cost an estimated $3.4 million.
The couple has also pledged $2.9 million for a new football stadium at their son's high school and an undisclosed amount to their local church.
Bondurant residents welcomed the news of a store in their town.
"Having one here would be so much more convenient," one resident told KCCI News.
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No one hit the Powerball jackpot last night so the top prize continues to grow. The other multi-state game, Mega Millions, continues to grow also..
POWERBALL
03/13/2013
$183,000,000 est
Cash Option:$112,500,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/12/2013
$41,000,000 est
Cash Option:$29,900,000

Luck Strikes Couple TWICE!

A Tempe, AZ couple has once again found good fortune while playing the Arizona Lottery.
Acccording to AZFamily, Diane and Kerry Carmichael have been announced as the winners of Wednesday’s draw for the $1 million Powerball second prize.
The Carmichael’s also won $2.5 million in 1995 while playing the Arizona Lottery’s The Pick game.
“Good things come in threes. Two down, one to go,” said Diane Carmichael, who was obviously in a celebratory mood.
Diane Carmichael purchased their winning ticket at the Arizona Lottery’s Phoenix office on University Drive, which is also where they bought their winning ticket in 1995.
The Carmichaels are retired and are still being paid a $125,000 annuity from their win 18 years ago. The annuity will expire in December 2014.
The Carmichaels said they plan to speak with their financial planner, adding that they will “resist the urge to splurge.”
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Mega Millions rolled last night. Tonight’s Powerball jackpot would make someone happy.
POWERBALL
03/09/2013
$150,000,000 est
Cash Option:$95,200,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/12/2013
$41,000,000 est
Cash Option:$29,900,000

Lotto Jackpot Claimed as a Trust

The Texas Lottery announced The T.C. Smith Trust, Daniel L. Moody, Trustee, of Azle, TX claimed the $11,970,265.60 cash value of the $16 million advertised jackpot from the Feb. 20 Lotto Texas® drawing Wednesday at Texas Lottery® headquarters in Austin.

The trust’s Quick Pick ticket was the only ticket sold to match all six numbers drawn, 8 – 14 – 27 – 30 – 47 – 51.
The ticket was purchased at the Valero Corner Store #2073 located at 4150 Bryant Irvin Road in Fort Worth. The store is eligible for a $160,000 retailer bonus for selling the winning ticket.
The claimant requested minimal publicity.

This winner did a lot right. They kept their mouth shut and it looks like they sought solid legal and financial planning taking two weeks to develop a solid plan before claiming the jackpot prize.

All lottery winnings are considered taxable income, regardless of whether they are received as a lump sum or in multiple annual payments. This winner chose lump sum which may have planning advantages for the trust. Holding the lottery winnings in a trust has some tax advantages because it avoids probate of the lottery proceeds upon death of the winner and minimizes taxes on the estate.
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In the multi-state lotto games Mega Millions stands at $33 Million for tonight’s drawing. Saturday brings the drawing for the higher jackpot Powerball game with $150 Million up for grabs.

Prize Claimed on New FL Game- Now 1/2 the Top Prizes Are Gone!

Sometimes when you read a press release from a lottery, it’s what they don’t say that can clue you in on if you want to buy particular game tickets or not. Here’s a recent release for the Florida Lottery:
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The Florida Lottery announced that Maria Mirambeau, 49, Hollywood, claimed a top prize of $5,000 a week for life in the new $10 Scratch-Off game, $5,000 A WEEK FOR LIFE, at Florida Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee. Mirambeau chose to receive the winnings in a one-time, lump-sum payment in the amount of $4,236,014.38. She purchased her winning Scratch-Off ticket at Sunoco, located at 11951 West Okeechobee Street in Hialeah Gardens. The overall odds of winning a prize are one in 3.34.
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Good for her, except given her age she should have taken the prize as weekly payments for life. She left a lot of money on the table and in the hands of the IRS by taking the lump sum.

The interesting thing is when we look at the Prizes Remaining section of the Florida Lottery web site and find:
Prizes remaining
There were only TWO top prizes and now one is gone. The first top prize went out early in this game, as it was launched on February 5.

Here’s a little lottery math:
The odds of winning the top prize is one in 6 million so with 2 top prizes there are 12 million tickets in this $10 game. I think there are 60 tickets in a pack for this game which gives us 200,000 packs for this game. Packs are distributed in numerical order to the stores. Lottery ticket manufacturers use a “seed and pluck” method for placing in the top prizes. If all the top prizes are claimed early, players stop buying, the state’s profit drops and the lottery is unhappy. They share this displeasure with their ticket manufacturing account rep who then yells at his game programmers. While nothing “officially” happens with the seed and pluck method, everyone wants to avoid displeasure so top prize somehow winds up towards the end of the game. The “seed and pluck” removes the randomness of prize placement. They may have not controlled where the first prize was but I will guarantee the last top prize is towards the back of the game. I hazard a guess the last top prize will appear in book 150,000 or higher.

Oops! Did I just reveal an insider secret? I’m putting this type of information together in an upcoming publication that will be available here. Using it you will be able to make smart choices when purchasing scratch ticket.

The smart choice now is to not buy the Florida $5000 A Week For Life game.
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In the multi-state lotto games there was no jackpot winner in Powerball so the jackpot grows. Mega Millions has a smaller jackpot for Friday.

POWERBALL
03/09/2013
$150,000,000 est
Cash Option: $95,200,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/08/2013
$33,000,000 est
Cash Option: $24,400,000

California Scheming

If you are a musician or karaoke star, your chances for a California Lottery prize just went up. In anticipation of launching the popular Powerball game, the Lottery has issued an open invitation to California residents to submit their best cover version of the classic '60s song "California Dreamin'." Soloists, bands, quartets, and choirs are encouraged to upload videos at a website dedicated to the contest.

While song submissions are limited to California residents 18 and older, the general public will vote online to determine the winner. Uploaded videos will be on display at the Lottery's Facebook page, and visitors will be allowed to vote once per day. Contestants are encouraged to share their entries with family and friends to boost their chances of winning.

Singers and musicians will be allowed to submit videos until March 22, 2013.
Lottery officials will award a $5,000 prize to the video receiving the most votes online. Winners will also receive an invitation to perform live at the Powerball launch celebrations taking place in San Francisco on April 8, 2013.

California Dreamin' Original Lyrics

All the leaves are brown
and the sky is grey
I've been for a walk on a winters day
I'd be safe and warm
if I was in LA
California dreaming
on such a winters day


My Suggested lyrics

All the balls are drawn
I've thrown my tickets away
I'd have saved some money
If I hadn’t played
California's scheming
with another game to play.

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Mega Millions had no jackpot winner last night so the jackpot rolls. Tonight’s Powerball jackpot would make any winner happy.

POWERBALL
03/06/2013
$123,000,000 est
Cash Option: $78,000,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/08/2013
$33,000,000 est
Cash Option: $24,400,000

Improve your odds of winning the lotto? Not!

I overheard a guy say, “I’m spending $20 on the next Powerball drawing to get ten plays (at $2 a play) so my chances of winning (the jackpot) will be 10 times better!” Sorry to break it to you buddy, but your chances are substantially the same, not 10 times better. Let’s look at the odds and the effect of buying multiple plays for an individual drawing.

If you purchase one play ($2) for Powerball, the odds of winning the jackpot (matching the first 5 numbers plus the Powerball number) are:
1 in 175,223,510

So what are your odds if you buy five plays, costing $10?
1 in 175,223,505

Ten plays costing $20 gives you odds of:
1 in 175,223,500

If you by 100 plays, costing $200, your odds of winning the jackpot do not substantially move. They are:
1 in 175,223,410

This is an easy demonstration that throwing more money and additional plays at a lotto game do very little good.
I suggest you get in the game, buy a single play for each lotto game your jurisdiction offers, and let lady luck do her thing. Throwing more money at the jackpot does you no good.
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Tonight’s Mega Millions jackpot is a bit puny. Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot is better.

MEGA MILLIONS
03/05/2013
$26,000,000 est
Cash Option: $19,300,000

POWERBALL
03/06/2013
$123,000,000 est
Cash Option: $78,000,000

You've Just Won the Lottery. Sorry You Died 6 Years Ago!

April 6, 2013 is going to be a day that some lottery winners have been waiting for nearly eight years; the Massachusetts State Lottery has finally announced the date for the long-awaited $10 million Hold’Em Poker tournament.

The lottery’s Hold’Em Poker scratch ticket launched back in 2005, and instead of up-front cash, winners would all receive the chance to participate in a tournament for the grand prize.

The lottery said it needed a total of 560 scratch winners in order to hold the tournament, which will be at the TD Garden, which happened only recently because of poor ticket sales. 560 “players,’” along with their guests, will go to the Garden. The 560 are among those who played the Lottery’s long-running $10,000,000 Hold’Em Poker scratch ticket game. Instead of cash prizes, they won World Poker Tour merchandise packs and claimed them. That qualified them for a drawing to become a participant in the tournament. One in 123 of those who claimed the packs were selected, Bresnahan said.

The game ran for nearly 7 ½ years before reaching the sales target that triggered the end of the game – and the simulated tournament. The elaborate and unusual event, which officials said has not been tried by any other state, will be the grand finale of one of the Lottery’s instant ticket games.

Two cards will be preassigned to each player, officials said. Three more cards, which all the players will share, will be drawn in each of three rounds. Whoever has the best hand advances to the next round. Sixty-four people will win in the first elimination round, 12 of them will advance in the second, and four of them in the third.

Lottery officials said there will be no skill involved. Spokeswoman Beth Bresnahan said the Lottery has designed the drawing so there will be a set number of winners, though the Lottery does not know who will win what. Still, for dramatic effect, in the second and third rounds, participants will sit at poker tables, as if they were playing.
Participants in the tournament will walk out with anywhere between $2,000 and $10 million.

A lottery press release noted that, “players who were selected as participants, but are unable to attend the tournament will be able to send representatives in their place.” Lottery records from earlier this month show four winners have died during the long wait.
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Being Monday and an off day for multi-state lotto games, let's look at state lotto games. They have better odds of winning the jackpot and are well worth you playing. I suggest playing more of your lottery budget on them than on the ultra high odds multi-state games. Here are the state lotto games with the largest current jackpots.

Ohio Lottery
Classic Lotto
TONIGHT
Next Jackpot:
$ 29.6 MILLION

Arizona Lottery
The Pick
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Next estimated jackpot:
$4.3 MILLION

California Lottery
Super Lotto Plus
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
Next estimated jackpot:
$33 MILLION

Florida Lottery
Florida Lotto with Extra
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Next Jackpot:
$ 6 MILLION

New York Lottery
New York Lotto
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Next Jackpot:
$ 21.5 MILLION

Texas Lottery
Lotto Texas
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Next Jackpot:
$ 7 MILLION

We've Won The Lottery. Let's Give Most of It To Lawyers!

A Cook County judge on Thursday refused to award a partial payout of a $118 million Mega Millions prize won by employees of a Chicago Heights-based bakery.

According to the NWITimes.com, twelve employees of the Pita Pan Bakery, 401 E. Joe Orr Road in Chicago Heights, who have taken to calling themselves the "Dirty Dozen," have possession of the winning ticket from a May 4 drawing that won them the record-high prize. But another seven employees of the bakery have filed assorted lawsuits in Cook County Circuit Court claiming for various reasons they were part of the group that routinely purchased lottery tickets, and should receive shares of the lottery prize.

Those lawsuits are pending and likely to take some time to resolve. To that end, attorney Michael Haugh filed a request that at least part of the prize be paid out now so the dozen people can have some of the money. The remaining money would be put in escrow until it could be resolved who, if anyone, has a legitimate claim to it.

On Thursday, Judge Kathleen Pantle issued an order that rejects Haugh’s request. By his calculations, the lottery prize breaks down to $7.2 million for each client if all the lawsuits are rejected; but would be $4.8 million each if all the other lawsuits are found to be valid. In her order, Pantle said her priority is to “preserve the status quo” until the larger lawsuit can be resolved. She wrote she believes any payouts would violate that status quo.

She also cited the fact that the Illinois attorney general’s office argued on behalf of the Illinois Lottery against any partial payouts of the lottery prize. State lottery officials have said they will not pay any of the prize until the courts tell them who has a legitimate claim to the money. “Given that both federal and state taxes must be properly paid on the winnings and the (state) Administrative code dictates how payouts are to be properly made, it would be improper to order a payout at this stage,” Pantle wrote.

Haugh had argued the dozen clients with possession of the winning ticket could receive a partial payment of a little more than $5 million each. But Pantle wrote, “the Dirty Dozen argues that the numbers can merely be adjusted, any payout would not be in accordance with the letter or the spirit of the law.”

Pantle heard oral arguments on the issue in January and said at that time she would rule in writing by Wednesday, although she wound up taking an extra day before ruling Thursday afternoon.

“I’ve been anxiously awaiting by my fax machine for this ruling,” said Erron Fisher, an attorney for two of the bakery workers claiming a share of the prize. Haugh said he disagreed with Pantle’s order, which he thinks was heavily influenced by the attorney general’s opinion. “I’m not sure I agree with it.” But he does not plan to challenge it, for now.

Although Haugh said that as the lawsuits proceed in the courts and more information is obtained during the discovery process, he may make another attempt later this year to try to get a partial payout for his clients. I may try to make another request on this issue,” Haugh said.
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Powerball demonstrated why the odds of winning the jackpot are over 1 in 175 Million by rolling last night. With no jackpot winner the top prize is now over $120 million. Mega Millions, with almost identical odds, has a smaller jackpot for Tuesday.

POWERBALL
03/06/2013
$123,000,000 est
Cash Option: $78,000,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/05/2013
$26,000,000 est
Cash Option: $19,300,000

Mass. Man Wins $1 Million Scratch Lottery Prize…TWICE!

Is the store at which you buy your lottery tickets the key to winning big -- twice?

On Tuesday, David Czarnik of Easthampton, MA claimed a $1 million prize from the Massachusetts Lottery's $10 “50X The Cash” game. It was his second win -- he also won $1 million in October 2008 after buying a scratch card in an “$800 Million Spectacular” game, according the Massachusetts Lottery.

Czarnik purchased the winning “50X THE CASH” ticket at College Highway Variety located at 334 Main Street in Easthampton – the same store where he bought his first $1 million winning ticket. Since it opened, five scratch tickets have been sold that produced multimillion dollar winnings. The store even has a wall of fame showcasing multiple winner of $10,000 and smaller prizes in the hundred of dollar range.
Without looking I’m making an educated guess that this lottery agent is a very high volume outlet for lottery games. The more tickets a store sells, the more large winners it produces.

The Massachusetts Lottery pays out the $1 Million prize as $50,000 a year over 20 years. Czarnik selected the cash option on the prize and received a one-time lump sum payment of $650,000 (less taxes). According to Massachusetts Lottery, Czarnik beat odds of 1 in 1,680,000 this time around. The chances of winning twice? Much slimmer unless he spent all of his winnings from his first ticket on other lottery tickets.
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Mega Millions rolled with no jackpot winner last night. Tonight’s Powerball jackpot should get player’s interest.
POWERBALL
03/02/2013
$103,000,000 est
Cash Option: $64,200,000

MEGA MILLIONS
03/05/2013
$26,000,000 est
Cash Option: $19,300,000

Mega Millions get Florida

After holding out for years the Florida Lottery announced yesterday that it will add MEGA MILLIONS® to its line-up starting on May 15, 2013.

Florida will become the 43rd state to join the multi-state lottery game. Though the Florida Lottery offers one of the strongest lotto games in the nation and is the top-selling POWERBALL® state, it is the only state lottery that does not currently participate in the MEGA MILLIONS game. MEGA MILLIONS sales in Florida are expected to raise millions of additional dollars for education and increase commissions to the Lottery's more than 13,000 retailers, the majority of which are small, independently owned businesses.

MEGA MILLIONS was created in May 2002 when the Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Virginia Lotteries joined together to form the multi-state game.
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While Floridians can’t play it until May, tonight’s Mega Millions drawing jackpot is estimated at $19,000,000 with a cash option estimated for $14,100,000