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A Breakdown of the Florida Powerball

November 4, 2018

With the recent announcement of the winning numbers of the Florida POWERBALL  on Saturday, Oct. 27, questions regarding the breakdown and receiving of the advertised cash prize arose– so here are the simplified answers.

The process after winning the lottery remains rather murky and confusing, as collecting the winnings proves far less straightforward than could be expected. According to the Frequently Asked Questions on the Florida POWERBALL’s website, the lottery is facilitated across 44 states, and  unbeknownst to many, the entirety of profits from ticket sales specifically in Florida undergo transference to the Educational Enhancement Trust Fund to benefit education in the state. POWERBALL tickets cost $2 per play, but with Power Play, tickets cost $3 per play; Power Play multiplies chances of winning.

A multiplier number selected during the drawing allows players to increase their winnings on the third through ninth prize levels if they hold it.

The rules to win remain this, according to the official drawing: five white balls (numbered 1 through 69) and one Powerball (numbered 1 through 26) are randomly selected. Players win by matching, in any order, the five numbers from the first set of balls and the Powerball drawn from the second set on their ticket. If this does not occur, players can still win prizes, ranging from just $4 to $1 million dollars, by matching non-jackpot winning combinations.

As a result of winning the first prize in Florida, 180 days remain the allocated time to claim your winnings. The actual winnings, however, do not match that of the advertised value because federal taxes usually reduce it by at least 25 percent. In the case of the most recent winners of the Oct. 27 drawing, according to CNBC, the federal government will withhold 24 percent of the winnings for taxes. In addition to this, winners can expect to owe the difference between that amount and the top federal income tax rate of 37 percent. State taxes in both Iowa and New York will even further reduce the final prize by at least 8.5 percent. In essence, what you play for is not what you get.

Winners may choose to receive their reduced winnings as an annual payment or a one-time, lump-sum payment (the cash option). Jackpot prizes must be claimed within the first 60 days after the winning drawing date to receive the cash option.

The POWERBALL comprises numerous ways to earn miniscule to massive amounts of money through technical channels, all with the drive of players betting on their insanely rare chance of success facilitating it; the odds of winning the jackpot are one in 292,201,338. Yet, the players keep playing.

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