SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 22: A South Korean banker carries US dollar bank notes at the Korea Exchange bank on February 22, 2005 in Seoul, South Korea. The South Korean won jumped to its highest intraday level in more than seven years in domestic trade on Tuesday, boosted by strong foreign equity buying and exporter deals. (Photo : Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
If you get terribly lucky and win the $1.4 billion-dollar-pot all to yourself, how would you spend all that money?
For starters, you won't be handed over that exact amount, actually. That's because taxes can shave off a considerable percentage of that prize money, possibly up to half of the said winnings. But that depends on where you live.
"To start, all winners must pay federal income taxes," Fox News Latino noted. "The U.S. government requires 25 percent to be withheld off the top if the winner supplies a Social Security or tax ID number."
"If a winner doesn't have such a number - yes, non-citizens can win the lottery - the IRS withholding rate is 28 percent," the news source went on."But the eventual federal tax bill will be higher, because the winner will have to claim the prize on their income taxes and pay the difference between what was already withheld and the top rate of 39.6 percent."
However, if the winner is from Nevada, South Dakota, Florida, Wyoming, Alaska, Texas, or Washington, the take home would be a bit higher as there is no state personal income tax from these areas.
"Winners from California and Pennsylvania may also get to keep more of the money, since those states exempt lottery winnings from state income taxes if the ticket was bought in the state," Fox News Latino explained.
Even with all those taxes taken out from the pot money, a nine-figure amount is still a lot of money. According to the Chicago Tribune, the sole winner may get about $560 million, more or less.
So, what to do with half a billion dollars?
"After investing that $560 million in a conservative portfolio that earns an average of 3 percent a year, the move could generate a steady cash flow of $16.8 million a year," the publication said. "For the typical worker, that would be enough money to cover the bills, buy a nice car, offer some financial support to family and friends and still indulge in some nice meals and a few vacations."
For the ultra-conservative, hiding away the prize in cold cash may not be a good idea as the winner may lose some of the value of their money to inflation. The funds need to earn interest or grow over time in order to beat inflation.
To make the most of the money, it's also wise to let professionals handle all that wealth, as suggested by Today. Estate attorneys can help the new multi-millionaire streamline and protect assets, while a financial planner helps the winner make sure no investment or considerable expense ends up to be a waste.
Another idea worth looking at is not taking out the entire jackpot but opting to receive it over time.
"The annuity would pay out the winnings over a 30-year period, which would keep some winners from blowing through the cash in a few year," Chicago Tribune pointed out.
How about you? How will you spend all that money?