You also get to decide whether to take an immediate lump sum or spread your winnings across several decades. Either way, Uncle Sam will take 24 percent before it reaches you.
For the $548 million Mega Millions jackpot, the cash option is $309 million. For the $282 million Powerball win, it’s $161.1 million.
The 24 percent federal tax withholding would reduce Mega Millions’ cash option by about $74.2 million, to $234.8 million, and Powerball’s by $38.7 million, to $122.4 million. You also should anticipate owing more to Uncle Sam at tax time.
Additionally, you’ll pay state taxes on the money unless you live where lottery wins are untaxed. For states that do take a piece, the rate ranges from a high of 8.82 percent in New York to a low of 2.9 percent in North Dakota, according to lottery site USAMega.com.