When I heard some lucky person in Illinois finally hit the Mega Millions Lottery, I thought 1.28 billion sounded like a ton of money. But they only get that amount if they take the payments over a long period of time. Most people choose the cash option. That billion dollar payday is now just 747.2 million. That's before Uncle Sam comes over.
The IRS then gets 24% with holding tax sent directly to them. Now you have 567.8 million left. Now you're in a different tax bracket, and the IRS wants 37% of that. That's another roughly 97 million gone. That's how you end up with 470,736,000. Yikes!
What's the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery?