This could be a life-changing day for someone, or some group of lucky people, as the grand prize jackpot for tonight's (October 19, 2049) Mega Millions drawing is more than $970 million.

No matter how you look at it that is a staggering amount of money. But if you are lucky enough to match all of the ping pong balls pulled tonight, you will have a decision to make - take the lump sum or opt for the 30-yearly payments instead.

The website Lifehacker has broken down the numbers.

After the federal government takes their share off the top (24 percent), the lump sum would be $416,936,000.

If you'd rather have a nice big number you can budget for over the next three decades, you'll be getting a check for $24,573,333 every year until 2049.

But not all lottery payouts are created equal.

If you're lucky enough to buy your winning ticket here in South Dakota, or in California, Delaware, Florida, New Hampshire, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, or Wyoming, you'll get every penny because those states don't tax lottery winnings.

But if you're in one of the states with sky-high tax rates on lottery winnings, you might be forfeiting as much as $36 million.

States with the highest lottery tax rates

  • New York - 8.82%
  • Maryland - 8.75%
  • Washington DC - 8.5%
  • New Jersey - 8%
  • Oregon - 8%
  • Wisconsin - 7.65%
  • Idaho - 7.4%
  • Minnesota - 7.25%
  • Arkansas - 7%
  • South Carolina - 7%

The good news? Even after those taxes you'd still clear well over $300 million.

Good luck!


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