Winning Powerball in California has its benefits

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Winning Powerball in California has its benefits
Winning Powerball jackpot in California has its benefits

SHERMAN OAKS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- If you're dreaming of winning the $1.4 billion Powerball jackpot, you aren't alone. Hundreds of thousands of people are snatching up tickets ahead of Wednesday's drawing.

The record-shattering jackpot has a cash value of $868.9 million, but how much money would you get if you win?

"The government definitely gets its money worth so to speak," said tax specialist Dennis Brager of Brager Tax Law Group.

MORE: Powerball jackpot increases to $1.4B as ticket sales surge

While the number sounds astronomical, experts said the numbers aren't quite as impressive as they may seem.

"The tax man is definitely going to come out. First of all, you're only going to get 75 percent of the check immediately, the IRS is going to withhold 25 percent right off the top," Brager explained.

Though experts said there'll be a big tax hit on a jackpot this large, Brager said living in California has its benefits.

"California does not have a lottery tax or an income tax on lottery winnings for its own residents who buy their ticket within the state of California,"Brager said.

It's not just the winner who will get to cash in, as state lotteries generate about $68 billion in sales each year and a cut goes back to state budgets.

In California, schools benefit as millions go back to support education in the Golden State.

Planning to play on Wednesday? Your odds of winning are about one in 292.2 million.