A person who has yet to be identified will likely be pocketing the tenth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history, after lottery officials confirmed a winning Powerball ticket worth $448 million was sold in California Saturday night.
The winning combination of numbers for the massive payout was 20-26-32-38-58, and the Powerball number was 3. And while the winnings are advertised at a staggering $448 million, the actual payout to the winner will likely be less depending on several factors.
According to Powerball spokesman Andy Miller, the $448 million figure is based on the winner choosing an annuity that is paid out over the course of 29 years. The other option of a lump-sum payout would reduce the cash prize to $279 million. Both amounts do not figure in a deduction for taxes. Things can potentially change even more if the winner is one of California’s 39.5 million residents.
“California is one of just three states that exempt lottery winnings from state income taxes—so long as the winner is a state resident who bought the ticket in California,” noted Sean Cockerham of the Sacramento Bee in a 2016 report. “That’s an especially big deal given that California has some of the nation’s highest taxes.”
Earlier in June, Missouri saw even longer delays in identifying a Powerball winner after Dennis Shmigelsky carried around his winning $50,000 ticket for two months.
“I substitute teach, and I finally got time (to claim) now that school’s out,” Shmigelsky told Powerball officials.
Given the amount of money at stake, Twitter users dropped some interesting opinions about the potential jackpot before and after the winner was announced.
Bought a powerball ticket last night and who knows... maybe I'll be able to afford health care this year. Fingers crossed.— McKenzie Goodwin (@McKGoodwin) June 5, 2017
Omfg the powerball was won at my uncles store! Hell yeah!!!!— George Wanis (@Wanis4Life) June 11, 2017
When someone tries to tell me Powerball is "only $600 million after taxes" as if I wouldn't be happy w a crisp $20 pic.twitter.com/0QmVlTZUNE— Ugly People Problems (@Uglypeopleunite) June 3, 2017
According to CNN, the chances of winning Powerball are about one in 292 million, which translates to 0.0000003 percent. The low odds stem from Powerball’s 2015 decision to give users more numbers to choose from. It was a switch that essentially traded lower odds for increased payouts, such as Saturday night’s $448 million winner. Prior to the 2015 change, the odds of winning Powerball were one in 175 million.