Editor’s Note: There is an updated version of this story reflecting the $1.9 billion jackpot.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — For anyone playing Powerball, it’s a good idea to also think about where you are playing. Location matters when it comes to a winner’s privacy and tax burden.

Since Nevada does not have Powerball, most people drive to either California or Arizona to play. There are some big differences for winners in each of these states.

The examples below assume a single player has won the current $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot.

California Winner

So you made the drive to Primm or beyond to play Powerball and you’ve struck it rich, now what? In California, there are no state taxes on Powerball winnings, but you will still be paying federal and possibly local taxes.

Jackpot = $1,600,000,000
Cash lump sum = $815,744,000 (50.984%)

Federal tax = $290,174,720 (37%)
State tax -$0 (0%)

Final cash payout = $494,081,280

Source: powerball.net/taxes


Arizona Winner

If you decided to drive across the Hoover Dam to Arizona to play Powerball and came up lucky, you will be bringing home less cash. This is due to an additional 5% state tax on the cash lump sum.

Jackpot $1,600,000,000
Cash lump sum $815,744,000 (50.984%)

Federal tax -$290,174,720 (37%)
State tax – $39,212,800

Final cash payout = $454,868,480

Source: powerball.net/taxes


Your Privacy

Whether you played and won Powerball in Arizona or California might mean the difference between staying anonymous or having the whole world know you just became a millionaire.

In Arizona, the winner of a Powerball jackpot has the option to stay anonymous.

The names of persons or legally formed entities that are paid lottery prizes or winnings of $600 or more are held confidential for 90 days from the date the prize is awarded and are not a public record during that period. In accordance with Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) §5-573(D), winners of $100,000 or greater may elect to keep their name permanently confidential. Information regarding the prize winner’s city and county of residence is not confidential.

A prize winner may voluntarily consent to the disclosure of their name. Can a blind trust collect winnings?

The Arizona Lottery will not accept a blind trust as Arizona Revised Statutes § 5-5-575 requires the Lottery to ensure that any Lottery winner does not owe the state a debt, which must be set off against the Lottery prize.

Source: arizonalottery.com

If you bought a winning Powerball ticket in California then be ready for your extended family to call and ask for some cash.

The California Lottery is subject to public disclosure laws that allow access to certain governmental records. Your full name, the name and location of the retailer who sold you the winning ticket, the date you won and the amount of your winnings, including your gross and net installment payments, are matters of public record and are subject to disclosure. The Lottery will not disclose any other personal or identifying information without your permission unless legally required to do so.

Source: calottery.com

Each state that participates in Powerball can write its own rules on winner privacy. Following is a list of each state with some level of lottery winner identity protections and a short synopsis of the special conditions if any.

  • Arizona – only for prizes of $100,000 or greater
  • Colorado – via an LLC or trust
  • Connecticut – via an LLC or trust
  • Delaware
  • Florida – via an LLC or trust
  • Georgia – only for prizes of $250,000 or greater
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana – via an LLC or trust
  • Michigan – only for prizes of $10,000 or more
  • Minnesota – only for prizes of $10,000 or more
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio – via an LLC or trust
  • Pennsylvania – via an LLC or trust
  • New Hampshire – via an LLC or trust
  • New York – via an LLC or trust
  • North Dakota
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee – via an LLC or trust
  • Texas – only for prizes of $1 million and upward
  • Vermont – via an LLC or trust
  • Virginia – only for prizes of at least $10 million
  • West Virginia – only for prizes of $1 million and upward
  • Wyoming