Record-breaking $1.58 billion Mega Millions winner has to make difficult decision after win
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Featured Image Credit: Anadolu Agency/Contributor
Some lucky soul in Florida has just won the fortune of a lifetime after their numbers came up in the latest Mega Millions jackpot.
Mega Millions have confirmed that someone has indeed bought the winning ticket so somebody out there is likely dealing with the life-changing news that they're going to be a billionaire.
Only that might not be the case after all because before they can claim their money they've got to make one of the biggest, most consequential decisions of their life and it'll massively impact the amount of cash they get.
This is the monumental choice that faces pretty much every lottery winner once the euphoria of their numbers coming up subsides to levels that allow normal mental functions to resume.
The lucky winner must now decide whether they want to get their $1.58 billion spread out over the course of 30 years or take it all as a lump sum right now.
However, there's some catches and caveats attached to this decision because taking the lump sum option in the lottery means your prize pot is smaller.
We can be astonished at the staggering sum of $1.58 billion but if the lucky winner wants all their money now it'll drop to $783.3 million, which is still a pretty darn big amount of money to live with.
But wait, there's more!
If you want to have your money now then you lose a lot of it by taking the lump sum, and that's before the taxman takes his share.
According to Forbes if the winner takes the lump sum they'll face a Federal tax rate of at least 24 percent, knocking that $783.3 million down to $595.3 million, and if they're a higher earner that tax could go as high as 37 percent.
If that's the case then a $1.58 billion jackpot turns into $493.5 million score, which again is still one hell of a jackpot but it's not quite the staggering amount everyone's talking about.
On the other hand, taking the regular instalments guarantees 30 years of income and all of that $1.58 billion in regular payments of about $52.6 million.
Of course the taxman still takes his share from this so instead of making just over a million dollars a week the lottery winner will instead get closer to $33.1 million.
Once the 30 year period is over the winner of that $1.58 billion jackpot would have received about $993 million of it, with the rest going on taxes.
That's the choice facing our lottery winner from Florida, either take about a third of that massive jackpot now or spend 30 years earning about two thirds of it.
The money is staggering either way so it's really down to our lucky lottery winner but with a jackpot this huge the difference between taking the lump sum or getting it piece by piece is counted in hundreds of millions of dollars.
The choice is theirs, all we can do is wait to find out what they decide.