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Lucky Powerball winner only owes federal taxes

Remember Powerball players: If you win, you owe taxes

One lucky Powerball winner tonight could pocket $478 million if the jackpot is paid out over 39 years.

Powerball lottery tickets Aug 15 2012_croppedSome of my old Powerball tickets. And yes, I do have one for tonight's big drawing.

It's more likely, however, that any winner will take the immediate lump sum option. That's a cash prize of "just" $330.6 million.

That taxable lump sum amount also earns this week's By the Numbers honor.

A handful of folks have won relatively smaller amounts in the three months that the main Powerball jackpot has been growing. Just this last week, a Florida ticket matched enough numbers to win $2 million, while players in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia hit $1 million jackpots.

Taxes apply to all winnings: All these lottery winners have one thing in common. They owe taxes on the payouts.

Long-time readers know that I occasionally waste a few bucks on lotteries. That's true this weekend. Hey, it's no $1.6 billion jackpot like three Powerball players split back in January, but tonight's amount is the fifth-largest in the game's history.

I would be more that happy to pay the U.S. Treasury my federal tax due on that sucker if my numbers come up tonight!

And just in case, I'm reviewing my blog post back then that offered 5 tax tips for lottery winners.

If you also have a ticket, check out the post before claiming your winnings. But actually, you won't have to worry about that. I'm sure my ticket is tonight's big winner!

On the outside chance -- OK, the very real chance -- that doesn't happen, I'll be back here blogging tomorrow. See all y'all then!

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