# How Much Will I Have to Pay in Taxes If I Win the Lottery?

The first recorded lotteries offered tickets that included monetary prizes. Public lotteries were held in Low Countries towns for various purposes, including to support the poor and improve town fortifications. These lotteries may have been as old as the 14th century, and there is evidence that some towns had more than one. For example, a record from L’Ecluse, France, on 9 May 1445 refers to raising funds to repair fortification walls with a lottery involving 4,304 tickets. The prize money of florins is roughly equivalent to US\$170,000 in 2014.

## Probability of winning

The probability of winning the lottery depends on how many correct numbers you pick. Normally, the numbers chosen will be six or seven out of 48. In some games, the order of the numbers does not matter. If you win the lottery, your odds of winning the jackpot are one in a million. This is the same for Mega Millions, where there are only two or three winners. The table below shows the odds of winning the jackpot.

## Taxes on lottery winnings

If you’ve won the lottery, you’re probably wondering how much you’ll need to pay in taxes. You may be surprised to learn that some states take a piece of your lottery winnings. In New York, you’ll have to pay up to 3.876% in taxes if you’re a single taxpayer. Yonkers will charge you as much as 1.477% in taxes if you’re married, and the state can take up to 8.82%.

## Pari-mutuel games

Pari-mutuel games in the lottery involve a number of partner groups that share in the prize money. The jackpot prize level is set at a set amount in most participating states. The prizes are then distributed equally among the winners. If several ticket holders win a prize, the third prize will be split among them. The amount of the prize depends on how many other winners there are and how many tickets were sold.

## Sweepstakes

It is important to understand the difference between a sweepstakes and a lottery. The former requires you to purchase a ticket to enter. A sweepstakes is a free game of chance. You do not pay to enter. You will not have to pay to claim a prize, or for shipping and insurance. The latter requires payment only for processing and shipping. Nevertheless, you should avoid entering a lottery without first consulting a legal adviser.