Powerball Won a Record-Breaking $241 Million Jackpot

A South Carolina office pool won a record-breaking $241 million Powerball jackpot on Wednesday. The winner was anonymous and chose to cash out the prize in March of the following year. The jackpot was the second-largest prize in U.S. lottery history, surpassing the $543 million won by a Mountaineer 26 lottery pool in December. In August 2018, 11 officemates won a $4.9 million lottery jackpot. Each person chipped in $3 a week for four years.

The prize will be paid out in a lump sum or as a 30 year annuity. Depending on the winnings option chosen, the IRS withholds up to 24% of the jackpot prize. A player can opt to receive the prize in cash or in annuities, but that means he or she will have to pay taxes on only a portion of it in the current year. The jackpot is projected to rise to $1.2 billion if no one wins.

While lottery players view purchasing tickets as a low-risk investment, they are also contributing billions to government coffers. Many of these people are missing out on the chance to save for college tuition or retirement. The small purchase of lottery tickets can cost thousands of dollars in foregone savings. The odds of winning the lottery jackpot are one in 303 million. So, while the jackpot may not be worth as much as you think, it is definitely a great way to increase lottery sales.