How much of the $607M Mega Millions jackpot a NC winner would lose to taxes

(NEXSTAR) — Another Mega Millions jackpot is brewing — this time, a $607 million prize that ranks among the largest in history. You won’t, however, be taking home $607 million if you’re lucky enough to win.

This jackpot has been building since two tickets — both sold at the same California gas station — landed a $394 million prize in December. After no ticket was able to match the winning numbers drawn Tuesday, the Mega Millions jackpot rolled to an estimated $607 million.

According to game officials, this is only the eighth time the Mega Millions jackpot has surpassed $600 million. It now ranks as the eighth-largest jackpot in Mega Millions history, standing behind a $648 million prize won by two tickets, sold in California and Georgia, in 2013.

But if you win, depending on where you live, the jackpot may feel much, much smaller.

These are the best states to win the Mega Millions jackpot in

Here’s why.

If you’re familiar with big lottery prizes or other gambling wins, you know you have to pay taxes on your prize. How much you pay will depend on where you live.

That’s also true for Mega Millions jackpots, regardless of whether you take the annuitized prize (the advertised number of $607 million, in this case) or the cash payout (estimated at $286.9 million ahead of Friday’s drawing).

As soon as you accept your payout, a large chunk of it is withheld for taxes.

Though some states do not have a state lottery tax withholding, they all must withhold 24% in federal tax on prizes as large as this jackpot. With additional taxes, you’ll see roughly 37% of your prize money withheld, should you win.

At best, according to an analysis by USA Mega, a Mega Millions jackpot winner will get about $383.7 million with the annuitized payout (30 annual payments that gradually increase) or $180.8 million — that’s $223.3 million or $106.1 million you’d lose to taxes, respectively. This is only for states that don’t have a state lottery tax withholding, though you’ll likely have to pay taxes on it later.

Outside of those few states, a jackpot winner (with a federal filing status of single) in Arizona will take home the most money: $173.6 million with the cash option or about $368.5 million after all of the annuitized payments. That means $113.3 million or $238.5 million, respectively, goes directly toward taxes.

Missed the Mega Millions jackpot? How your ticket may still be a winner

Those in North Carolina could see $356.3 million with the annuitized payments or $167.9 million with the cash lump sum. It can also vary based on the city they live in.

The interactive map below shows the estimated amount a winner in each state would receive after taxes have been withheld and all 30 annuitized payments have been issued. If you hover over or tap on a state, you’ll also see the estimated post-tax cash prize payout a winner would get, according to USA Mega’s analysis.

You’ll notice a few states are gray on the map — these do not participate in Mega Millions.

It’s important to remember that these are estimates. The jackpot could go up or down before the next drawing. Plus, a jackpot can be split between multiple winners. While the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are roughly 1 in 302.6 million, more than 20 have been split by two (and in one case, four) tickets that matched the winning numbers.

That includes the most recent jackpot win in California late last year. Only once before, in 2011, has the jackpot been split twice in a row, Mega Millions records show.

If you’re lucky enough to win the jackpot, even if you aren’t the sole winner, experts recommend moving quickly to assemble a team that includes an attorney, a tax advisor and a financial advisor. They also encourage protecting your ticket and keeping your victory a secret for as long as possible.

That may be easier in some states than others — only a select few let winners of a jackpot this large remain anonymous.

Ready to try your luck? The next drawing will be held Friday at 11 p.m. ET.

Mega Millions tickets are $2 each and sold in 45 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition to Fridays, drawings are held on Tuesdays at 11 p.m. ET. Players have a 1 in 24 chance of winning any Mega Millions prize.

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