Customers wait in line at the Blue Bird Liquor Store to buy Powerball lottery tickets in Hawthorne, California. Photo: Richard VogelAfter an expensive Christmas season it would be nice to come across a little extra cash in January, right?
Try $US1.5 billion ($2.1 billion), the total kitty from the upcoming US Powerball jackpot and the world’s largest ever prize, which takes place on Thursday at 3pm AEDT.
For the first time ever, Australians can take a punt on the giant jackpot at a cost of $US14.
Lottoland was awarded a five-year licence by the the Northern Territory Racing Commission to give online gambling the green light in international lotteries.
“It’s quite incredible now to think Australian citizens through Lottoland can join in on the race to win a mega international lottery without having to leave the comfort of their own lounge room or office,” Luke Brill, Lottoland spokesman said.
According to Lottoland’s website, Australians are able to place a bet on the result of the lottery rather than enter the draw itself.
“Rest assured your winnings will be the same as if you had entered it for real,” the website says.
Before the licensing change, lotto enthusiasts would need to travel to the country of the lottery’s origin to play.
Were an Australian to win the jackpot, they would be required to pay the same taxes as an American citizen.
Powerball is a multi-state lottery based in the US that regularly offers super-sized jackpots that always starts at a minimum of $US40 million
To win, a player must choose five white balls from a spinning heap numbered 1 to 69, plus a red Powerball numbered between 1 and 26.
If you match the Powerball (and no white ones), a one-in-38 chance, you would get $US4.
Matching three of the white balls, a one-in-580 chance, would earn you $US7. If you’re truly living a charmed life and you hit the one-in-36,525 chance of picking four correctly, you would earn $US100.
The odds of winning the jackpot are now 1:292,201,338.
According to The New York Times, the odds of being struck by lightning this year are about one in 1.19 million – making it about 246 times as likely as winning the Powerball jackpot.
If you have a spare $US584.4 million lying around, you could buy every possible winning combination of numbers, guaranteeing victory. However, there is still the taxman to consider, and you may also have to split your winnings.
The world record jackpot has caused a lotto frenzy in the US, as continuous draws leading to no winner have caused the prize money to climb.
In New York, the state gaming commission has recorded ticket sales of up to $US3.3 million an hour.
The full amount is only paid if the winner chooses to take an annual payout over 29 years, otherwise the lump sum is considerably less.
State and federal government tax offices stand to collect a tidy sum from the eventual winner. The federal tax rate is 25 per cent, while state government tax rates vary according to state.
While the Australian Powerball Jackpot imposes no tax on winnings, Fairfax Media is attempting to confirm if an additional Australian tax would be applicable to an Australian winner of the US jackpot.
with New York Times
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