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Lottery dreams and tax realities

As you've already figured out by my presence here today, I did not win the Powerball drawing last night.

In fact, I only got one number, the checkmarked 22.

Powerball losing ticket 11-28-12

Despite what the ticket enthusiastically proclaims, chances are not good that you or I will ever be next.

Powerball itself notes that the odds of winning the record $587.5 million jackpot were 1 in 175,223,510.

Heck, I couldn't even beat the 1 in 55.41 odds to win $4! If I had, that would have at least covered the last two tickets I bought; yes, I also played the previous drawing.

Still, despite the odds, we play.

In fact, we're so eager to spend a few dollars to maybe win a whole lot more that some people waited longer in line to buy Powerball tickets than they waited to vote on Nov. 6.

And the Internal Revenue Service and state tax collectors are glad we are committed to our lottery dreams, because when one of us does win a jackpot, they do, too.

So Uncle Sam is delighted today. So are the tax officials in Arizona and Missouri where the winning tickets were sold.

I know it's irksome to think that a substantial chunk of the prize goes to taxes, but I'd be happy to bear that burden if only my numbers would ever come up!

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February 10

I enjoy looking through a post that will make people think. Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

Molly Stevens

I always try to figure out how much you would actually pocket after all of the taxes and fees are taken out of your winnings. They always have that estimated cash value that has something to do with the lump sum cash you would receive. Definitely a little confusing. All I know is that if I won a ridiculous amount of money, I don't think I would be complaining about paying taxes either!

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