The Powerball jackpot is $353 million. Mega Millions is $160 million

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If some holiday magic makes you a Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot winner this weekend, don’t forget Uncle Sam will be celebrating with you.

After no ticket matched all six numbers drawn on Wednesday in Powerball, the jackpot rose to $353 million for Saturday night’s draw. For the Mega Millions Friday night draw, the top prize is $160 million.

Of course, the advertised amount is not what the winner takes home.

For the $353 million Powerball jackpot, the cash option — which most winners choose rather than payouts spanning three decades — is $256 million.

However, before any chance presents itself to a winner, the $61.4 million in 24% federal tax withholding will be eliminated at the top, leaving $194.6 million.

Most likely to be in debt at tax time because the top marginal income tax rate is 37%.

Meanwhile, the $160 million Mega Millions jackpot comes with a cash option of $115.7 million. A 24% tax deduction of about $27.8 million would reduce that amount to $87.9 million. And, again, there will probably be more taxes due to the IRS.

There will also be state taxes, unless the game is won in a state where there is no income tax or no tax on lottery winnings.

It should be noted that the chances of winning the jackpot in either game are minimal: For Powerball, you have a 1 in 292 million chance of a single ticket matching all six numbers. For Mega Millions, that’s 1 in 302 million.

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Here’s what to do with your year-end bonus The Powerball jackpot is $353 million. Mega Millions is $160 million

Emma James

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