It’s information the truly dedicated lottery fantasizer needs: How much you’d really clear if you won the second-biggest Powerball jackpot in history, $650 million. The shelf life of that daydream lasts at least until the drawing at 10:59 p.m. Wednesday.
The floor amount you could count on being delivered in a giant pile to your Florida residence is a shade over $233 million, figures Palm Beach accountant Richard Rampell.
That assumes a lump-sum payout calculated at $411.7 million, minus its maximum tax bite. The other option is to take the $650 million parceled out in annual installments over three decades, but most winners take the lump sum.
“No state or local taxes on the winnings,” Rampell said. “Whew!”
Federal taxes are another story. The final tax amount owed could be affected by charitable donations, establishing trusts and other moves, but at the max, it involves a 39.6 percent top individual rate.
And there’s this relatively recent wrinkle: A 3.8 percent tax under the Affordable Care Act on income above $250,000.
It’s your call. View it as an unexpected $15 million-plus gift to support Obamacare if you are a fan, or a fresh reason to urge Congressional Republicans to revive a stalled effort to repeal and replace the health law if you are not.
To maximize enjoyment, just don’t focus too much on the odds of winning the top prize with a $2 ticket: about 1 in 292 million.