CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – There is a chance Friday night to win one of the largest lottery prizes in U.S. history. The jackpot for the multi-state Mega Millions game has reached $1.28 billion for Friday’s drawing.
If you have that six-number match, you won’t become an instant billionaire, however. Winners can choose the immediate cash option, which is just over $600 million. If you do that, a 24% federal tax is immediately taken out. More will later be taken out when you file your federal income taxes. The top federal tax rate is 37% on any income over $539,000, and lottery winnings count. That would drop your winnings down to $379 million.
You could also choose to receive annuity payments, which will allow you to keep more money, but those payments will be stretched-out over a period of 30 years.
Jimmy Nadle is a regular lottery ticket customer at the Country Trading Post in Chicopee, “I just bought five extra tickets!” He’s hoping to win big with the correct 6 number combination, “I’d retire… take care of family.. make sure we’d be all set. You’ve got to be penny wise and dollar smart.”
Brian Colcombe is another regular lottery player, “I think if they get that much money… pay it forward.” He says the current jackpot is far too much money for anyone person, “Give it to like Ronald McDonald, St. Jude, March of Dimes, Farm Aid.”
Brian usually purchases a few extra tickets to gift during his day, “I always give them to the waitresses and the staff at the restaurants, because they could use it. It’s a pick me up for them.”
Mega Millions tickets are $2 each, and you can buy them until 10:45 Friday night. The odds of hitting all six numbers and taking home the jackpot are about 1 in 302 million.
We will have the winning numbers on 22News and WWLP.com Friday night.