(Notice that I covered up the numbers on this Mega Millions ticket? Yeah, I'm not splitting my winnings with ANYBODY.)

I'm not a consistent lottery player.  I don't buy scratch tickets, or have a dossier of lottery materials like some people do.  Seriously, you've seen them...they have a folder and dozens of pre-filled out play slips that are carefully encased in a laminate, knowing that someday...the $100 bi-weekly investment they make is going to pay off. When, ultimately, it's usually someone who plays on a whim when the jackpot gets stratospheric who wins the big prizes. So, no. I wouldn't recommend the Lottery 401K retirement plan.

via GIPHY

As we speak, the Mega Millions jackpot is at $1 BILLION dollars. That's Billion with a "B". So, as usual, people begin to fantasize about what they would do when they win the $1,000,000,000.  Want to know what'll REALLY happen?

YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GET $1 BILLION DOLLARS.

Sorry to tell you, but even if you do win the jackpot tonight, you're not getting a Billion. According to USAMega.com (a site that we cannot access here at work, damn firewall), in Texas, here is the harsh financial reality.

Screenshot from USAmega.com

Sure doesn't look like $1 billion, does it?

Here's how this works.

The estimated cash value is $739,600,000. Not bad, eh? However, even though Texas has no income tax on lottery winnings, the Federales do. To the tune of 37%. So, if you do the lump sum payout, you'll only receive a little over $450 Million. Quite a difference from $1Billion.  If you're not the type of person who absolutely needs $450 Million up front (and who DOESN'T?), then you may want to go for the 30 year payment plan.

But I can hear you now:

"THAT'S MY MONEY! I NEED IT ALL NOW! I WANT TO BUY VENEZUELA! AND I DON'T PLAN ON LIVING THAT LONG!!!"

Uhhh, okay.  Maybe you have $400 Million in gambling debts that need to be paid. Fine, Michael Jordan. However, if you take the 30-year annuity, it goes something like this:

Screenshot from USAmega.com
Screenshot from USAmega.com

Your first payment would be $9.5 Million, and your last would be almost $40 Million, nd the total is over $630 Million...AFTER TAXES.

So, if you took the lump sum, you'd actually LOSE $180 MILLION dollars. All because you want ALL the money now. Like you'd be able to spend it all, anyway. Personally, i think of it as MY $180 Million, and you can't have it.

Unless you wanted to buy $20% of the Dallas Cowboys. $450 Million might cover that. At least you'd get good seats for the games.

Either way, it doesn't matter, because I'm going to win. Deal with it.

Maybe if you win, we can include you in this gallery someday.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

KEEP READING: See the richest person in every state