Show Me the Money, United States!
As an American, I can walk into any grocery store, gas station, and convenience store to have my pick at some kind of lottery. Only a few months ago did I walk into my local Wawa (a convenience store chain that is popular mainly in the northeast of the country) to find a vending machine that dispenses lottery scratch offs. I started to wonder if there was really that much of a demand for lottery tickets that they felt the need to put them in vending machines. Therefore, I began doing a little research as to which state is the most “lottery centric” among the union. The results were interesting and if you are ever in the states and the lottery is important to you, maybe this information will help you decide where you want to visit.
Luckiest States for International Lotteries: PowerBall and Mega Millions
If you are a big PowerBall player, I certainly hope you live in Pennsylvania or Indiana! According to the Multi-State Lottery Association, these two states are the luckiest states to play the game; Pennsylvania has claimed the jackpot 16 times whereas Indiana has claimed it 11. My home state of New Jersey (and seven others) has only claimed the prize three times since 2003.
For those who prefer the Mega Millions and want to win over $100 million, I hope you live in Georgia or New York. Georgia has claimed 12 total jackpots, 6 of those winners were for jackpots over $100,000. New York has claimed jackpots over $100 million nine times. During the life of the game, only 15 states have had jackpot winners that won over $100 million. These other states include Ohio (8), New Jersey (8), Virginia (6), Texas (6), Maryland (6), and 9 winners have chosen to remain anonymous.
Lotteries by the State
Some may think that every state in the US has a lottery of some kind. That is not true. Six states do not have any kind of lottery. These lottery-free states are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Utah, and Nevada. Of these six states, three of them do have some form of gambling; Alabama, Mississippi, and Nevada do have casinos that you can test your luck with though.
The other 44 states do have some kind of lottery, whether it is a state-funded lotto or they participate in the PowerBall and/or Mega Millions.
Wall Street has identified 10 states that have had the largest jackpots. USA Today has looked at sales, payouts and the state profits for these big winners over the course of the past five years, and I must say, seeing those numbers amazes me.
New Yorkers spend $8.4 billion on lottery tickets and the state has paid out $4.1 billion throughout the years. The state has garnered $2.9 billion in profit from these sales, which the state uses to improve the educational system.
Winning that Lottery May Cost You Big Time
In the US, if you win the lottery, 25% of your winnings (if it is over $5,000) goes directly to the US government. If you $1 million, only $750,000 is coming home with you. On top of this, you will have to pay state income tax in some states. Winners who live in New York City (remember, this is just the city) have to pay 12% income tax, whereas the rest of the state only has to pay 8.97% (and 9.867% if you live in Yonkers). New Jerseyians get whooped with a 10.80% income tax on big winnings! Therefore, if I were to win $1 million, after the federal government took their cut, and the state takes theirs ($81,000!), I am getting $669k. When you see the numbers drop so much, it is almost heartbreaking. But of course, it’s more than what you started off with. Six states (Florida, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington) do not charge their residents an income tax on their winnings, those lucky folks.
After reading this, I just hope you are not going to use your lottery habit and how lucrative (or not) your destination is in your pocket!