What Taxes Do I Pay On Lottery Winnings?

Mega Millions Logo ImageCurrent Jackpot: $277,000,000

If you are lucky enough to win at the Mega Millions Lottery, will you have to pay taxes on the money?

In a nutshell, yes.

How much you pay and to who will depend upon where you live. Some states have a state income tax that will claim a portion of your prize winnings, while other don't. Even if you live somewhere with no state tax, you can rest assured that Uncle Sam will be there with his hand out for federal taxes.

Nothing to be done about it.

How Much in Taxes for Mega Millions Lottery Prize?

Basically, it all boils down to this: The amount you have to pay in taxes on your lottery winnings depends on the amount you win.

So, if you win a lot, you may well end up having to pay a lot in taxes. If you don't win much, you won't be required to pay much, if at all. If you're like most people, you would prefer to pay a lot of taxes since it means you won a lot of money.

Most big jackpot winners would be well advised to seek out a reputable accounting firm immediately, even before claiming the money at a lottery office headquarters. Very few of us are equipped to manage millions upon millions of dollars. There's an old saying that a fool and his money are soon parted. If you're fortunate enough to hit a big lottery jackpot, don't be foolish and try to handle the money yourself. Get professional help!

Pros can find the best tax breaks for you, so you won't have to pay as much. Their fee is well worth it since they will help you hang on to more of your money.

Taxes & Mega Millions Lottery Winnings

Worst case scenario, the highest federal tax you might have to pay is 35%.

Yes, that's a lot. But look at it this way, if you had won that whopping big $646 million Mega Millions Lottery jackpot back in 2012, you would have still had roughly $425 million left over after taxes. So you wouldn't exactly be broke!

One of the worst mistakes you could make is NOT pay the taxes you owe on your Mega Millions Lottery winnings because you could end up in prison for tax evasion and that wouldn't be good!

Taxes on Lottery Winnings by State

Mega Millions Lottery Name Mega Millions Lottery Winnings State Tax Mega Millions Lottery Winnings State Tax
California LotteryNo state tax39.6% federal tax
Georgia Lottery6% state tax39.6% federal tax
Illinois Lottery3.75% state tax39.6% federal tax
Maryland Lottery8.75% for state and local 7% for non-Maryland residents39.6% federal tax
Massachusetts Lottery5.2% state tax39.6% federal tax
Michigan Lottery4.25% state tax39.6% federal tax
New Jersey Lottery10.8% state tax39.6% federal tax
New York Lottery8.82% (plus 3.88% for New York City or1.47% for Yonkers)39.6% federal tax
Ohio Lottery4% state tax39.6% federal tax
Texas LotteryNo State Tax39.6% federal tax
Virginia Lottery4% state tax39.6% federal tax
Washington LotteryNo State Tax39.6% federal tax