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The Lottery Bite
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Category: Rants

Word count/read time: 498 words; 2 minutes

So you just won the two billion dollar lottery. The least of your worries would be hiring five CPAs and seven lawyers: each accountant to keep the other ones honest and each lawyer to do the same because you won't get a (collective) ethical group any other way.

While it would be nice to think you could pocket the actual amount claimed with annuity payments, again, you're talking about some agency doling out the paychecks for another three decades. Quite frankly, might as well buy a bridge in Brooklyn if you think that's an iron clad guarantee. Which is why people take the lump sum.

 
Are even 5% of those winnings free and clear after all taxes are calculated?
 
Of that $2B, half will be taken away because it is a lump sum. Then come the taxes, which federally will eat 37% of the remaining take. Additionally, your state may take up to 11% and I'm sure there are some cities that have a tax of their own for such situations.

Then, anything you buy from your raped winnings gets taxed again. All the money those people made selling those goods to you gets taxed again. When they pay their workers, more taxes, and all the way down the line. In the case of durable goods like real estate or automobiles, excise or other taxes are levied for eternity for the privilege of owning them. Some localities have a business tax on tools, inventory, and equipment as well.

God forbid you should die shortly after winning because the inheritance and estate taxes could approach 60% of whatever remains. Plus there will be countless millions wasted on executing the estate...you know, those lawyers and accountants whetting their chops to divvy it up. Whatever you give away, unless to a tax-exempt charity, will be taxed yet again. Are even 5% of those winnings free and clear after all taxes are calculated?

I'd assume take the whole lot in cash, buy hard assets like silver and gold, and disappear from the radar entirely. With that much money, interest, investment income, and inflation are insignificant. Give any gifts in cash and hope the recipients' stupidity doesn't get them bagged. Pay with cash and insist every payee make it disappear entirely.

They've said the lottery is a tax on the poor and disadvantaged. In reality, it is another cash grab for our government. Yeah, some places say it is for education and whatnot but they also write laws that let them use it for whatever they want much like they did with the tobacco settlements (which were supposed to be used for anti-smoking and health issues but many studies have found almost "none" was used as intended).

I'm not the first to say this and it's not a revelation. With such large sums of money, the greed and financial control our government has over us would be criminal if it was any other entity. Still, it's more money than most of us will ever have so the tax bite is what we trade for being so rich.


Posted by M: November 20, 2022


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