No matter which lucky person matches all six lucky Powerball numbers, the real winners, we’re told, are environmental protection, education and a host of other projects earmarked to receive proceeds from ticket sales.
The 44 US states that participate in the lottery, and the District of Columbia, are said to garner hundreds of millions from jackpot sales.
But, where do the funds go?
Some states, such as Iowa, put the money into a general fund, but others tend to target the funds towards a purpose. Montana concentrates on crime control, for example, while Colorado puts funds towards environmental protection.
How the money is allocated is essentially up to the states. Profits from the draws are kept by the state that sells the tickets. They do need to allocate certain amounts to expenses such as advertising, vendor fees, and salaries for lottery commission workers before they can add up the profits. Once the bills are taken care of, the states get to choose different ways to spend what’s left.
Some states like Virginia put the profits towards education budgets and for parks and recreation. Missouri allocates about 24 cents of each dollar spent to benefit education programs.
Lottery profits serve a wide range of causes depending on the state. For instance, in the state of Maryland, the lottery is the fourth-biggest contributor to the state’s general fund. The fund supports public safety, public health, the environment, and education.
In Pennsylvania, all lottery profits go towards services for senior citizens and in Iowa, it is the veteran’s trust fund that is supported. The state of Wisconsin uses lottery profits to offer homeowners property tax relief. Nebraska, on the other hand, distributes funds to several causes, such as recycling, lake improvement, and the state fair’s facilities.
As for North Dakota, Kansas, Louisiana, and Washington, lottery funds are spent on improving and providing programs for gambling addicts.
Over in Colorado, proceeds from Powerball ticket sales go towards preserving and improving the state’s wildlife, parks, open spaces, trails, and rivers. Anything left over fills the education system’s coffers.
As you can see, Powerball proceeds typically fund state initiatives. So, why not take matters into your own hands when it comes to supporting your favourite charities?
Statistically, it is impossible to win the lottery. As an assistant professor of mathematics, Scott A. Norris, has told the press, it might not happen even if you buy thousands of tickets. And, while the chances of winning hover around the one in almost 300 million range, there’s always that long shot. After all, others have won big jackpots, haven’t they?
The good news is that, should you win, you can give away your prize money freely. So, once you’ve bought the yacht and seen the world, you may want to donate some funds to your preferred causes.
There’s no law against giving as much as you like to whichever charity you choose. But keep this in mind: if you are thinking of your cash donations as tax deductions, the IRS does have rules on charitable gifts.
Under America’s state and federal laws, tax rules tend to encourage charitable donations. And, yes, you can deduct cash contributions to qualified organisations. Just ensure that the organisation actually is qualified.
To get it right, the IRS offers what they call an EO Select Check. This is a public database of qualified and tax-exempt charities that are permitted to receive deductible donations. If you attempt to claim a qualified contribution to a non-qualified organisation, the IRS reserves the right to deny the deduction and send you a bill.
It’s not really as scary as it sounds, though.
If you want to make sure that Powerball money goes towards yourcharities of choice, simply make sure the charity is qualified and contribute as much as you want to.
Otherwise, leave it up to each state to decide where the Powerball profits go.
Either way, the Powerball is doing a great thing making sure the right areas are funded, don’t you think?