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Let’s Talk Jackpots, How Much You Can Win ?

How Much Can You Win?

With the winter blues settling in, I decided to take another look at what the international lotteries are offering in their current jackpots. I like to do this a couple of times of the year as I tend to get in a rut with the lotteries I play.

US Dollars versus Euros

Part of looking at some of the incredible jackpots offered internationally is looking at the currencies they are offered in. Take Oz Lotto for instance with a jackpot of AUD 6 million which translates to just over USD 5 million. That’s nothing to sneer at, but at the same time, I wouldn’t call it a mega jackpot – not yet. When we talk mega jackpots, how about EuroMillions which is currently at € 15 million? This translates into around USD 20.4 million. Keep in mind this is paid out as a lump sum tax-free!

Annuity versus Cash Payout

Then there is the fact that many of the big international jackpots are annuities and not straight jackpot lump sums. This means the jackpot amount advertised is not actually what a player gets in hand if they win. Take US Mega Millions’ next draw of USD 20 million. The actual value for a cash payout would be USD 10.6 million. Take off the federal tax applied and it is now down to USD 7.9 million. For foreigners, take off an additional 5%. Depending on which state your ticket was purchased from, state tax might also apply. US Powerball’s next draw has an advertised jackpot of USD 70 million as an annuity, but a cash payout of USD 38.6 million less federal tax which makes it worth USD 28.9 million.

Compare to this Canada’s Lotto Max’s current jackpot for this week of CAD 50 million. It will be paid out in a lump sum and tax-free. Even with the exchange rate that still means USD 46.2 million. On top of this, Lotto Max has hit its maximum cap so each week that it is not won, Lotto Max will increase the number of CAD 1 million extra bonus draws until it is won.

Tax versus Tax-Free Jackpots

There are a lot of arguments on whether lotteries should be claimable tax-free or not. Canada discussed the issue and then agreed that their lotteries already were supporting government initiatives so taxing winners would be double dipping. The United States collects the tax and has no intention of changing that. Australia and the UK’s lotteries are tax-free as well many of the European lotteries are. Spain now has a tax on lotteries at a rate of 20%. When you are choosing the lottery you want to play, it’s important to take a look at what you are going to win and who is going to take a piece of your action.

Deciding What to Play

There are a lot of incredible international lotteries out there to choose from. Spain’s La Primitiva’s next draw is a cool € 48 million. Italy’s SuperEnaLotto is at € 23.6 million. EuroJackpot is at € 17 million. They all have their odds, their own specific rules, and regulations and vary between annuities versus a lump sum. It’s important to take a look at the game you want to play and how it operates. You can’t win unless you play.

If you still have questions, make sure to check our new Questions & Answers page.

Looking at jackpots in Euros, US Dollars and other currencies are just one of the factors to consider on what lottery to play.

Brampton teen wins $200,000 on her first ever Lotto Max ticket

You have to be 18 in order to buy a lottery ticket

What would you do with $200,000?

Or, more specifically, $197,724.20?

That’s the big question 18-year-old Alyssa Caetano from Brampton, Ont., has to grapple with.

“I never thought I would win. I’m kind of speechless” – Alyssa Caetano, age 18

Alyssa won on two selections on her Lotto Max ticket as part of the Jan. 7 draw.

In Canada, you must be 18 or older to buy a lottery ticket and claim prize money. (Muriel Draaisma/CBC)

She won $197,679.90 on one selection and $44.30 on the other, bringing her total winnings to $197,724.20.

What’s she doing with the money?

Alyssa told OLG — the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation — that she plans on buying her mom a car and her best friend from Croatia a plane ticket so they can visit.

“The rest of the money I will invest, or maybe put towards the purchase of a home,” said Alyssa.

Although Alyssa won on Jan. 7, she wasn’t identified as the winner until she went in on Feb. 28 to claim her prize. She will receive her winnings in one lump sum, and in the full, untaxed amount.

What are the odds?

Alyssa bought a $5 ticket and spent $30 in different selections.

The chances of winning the secondary prize, the big prize that Alyssa won, are 1 in 4.75 million.

Even the chances of winning Alyssa Caetano’s smaller prize of $44.30 are small, with odds of 1 in roughly 1,000. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)

The chances of winning the jackpot are 1 in 33.2 million. This means that if every person in Canada bought one selection of numbers each, it’s likely that only one person would win the jackpot.

Kids and lottery tickets aren’t a winning recipe

Tony Bitonti, a spokesperson for OLG, said ” [we] makeevery effort to prohibit minors from participating in our games and our own advertising standards are very clear about not using images or themes that would appeal to children or minors.”

He said OLG also partners with organizations like the National Council of Problem Gambling to promote the message that gambling is not for kids, especially not as gifts for birthdays or holidays.

In Canada, you have to be 18 to buy a lottery ticket and claim prize money.

Although Alyssa’s big win can make the lottery seem tempting, research suggests that lottery products can be harmful.

McGill University’s International Centre for Youth Gambling Problems and High Risk Behaviors warns that lottery tickets may act as a gateway for youth into more problematic forms of gambling.

They say gambling addictions can be as severe and damaging as addictions to drugs and alcohol.

According to the centre, gambling becomes an issue when someone continues to gamble despite experiencing negative consequences.

A big sign of problem gambling is loss of control, when someone spends more money and plays for longer than intended, and can’t stop thinking about gambling.

Need help?

If you are having issues with gambling or other addictions, the Kids Help Phone is available to help.

You can either call them at 1-800-668-6868.or text them at 686868.

Brampton, Ont.,. teen Alyssa Caetano won $200,000 on her first ever Lotto Max ticket during the Jan. 7 draw ]]>