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The $570 Million Powerball Victory In Context

Tyler Durden's picture


... In which Zero Hedge looks at the implications of taxing nouveau riche Powerball winners at the "fair" marginal rate of 100%.


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Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:30 | 3024099 SilverIsKing
SilverIsKing's picture

A dollar and a dream.  Oh, two dollars and a dream.  Oh, no more dollars, I forgot.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:32 | 3024106 Almost Solvent
Almost Solvent's picture

Here in NY, they have "Little Bit of Luck" as the new lottery slogan. 


Same for the government, except they're gonna need alotta more luck . . .

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:42 | 3024127 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

So.......long four leaf clovers?

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:02 | 3024200 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

I'll take my winnings in nickles please... Thank you...

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:19 | 3024268 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



Pre-'82 pennies...

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 15:29 | 3024553 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is not like taxation of his power balls.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:03 | 3024210 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture

Liesman at his best. 

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:19 | 3024269 SeattleBruce
SeattleBruce's picture

I'm sure Obammy's IRS will work up some kind of exception for these poor schmucks, er rich  Will they pay out in physical PMs?...LOL

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:41 | 3024128 ACP
ACP's picture

Or maybe the government has had a HELL of a lot of luck, and is about to run out...

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:45 | 3024131 Pool Shark
Pool Shark's picture



The first thing that guy needs to do is buy himself a new shirt and ballcap...

Maybe the lottery explains why 'merican's savings rate is nearly zero.

[The Lottery: A tax on the mathematically illiterate]

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:02 | 3024188 Lin S
Lin S's picture

I think of the Lottery - well, all gambling, really - as a tax on stupid people.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:52 | 3024154 HeatMiser
HeatMiser's picture

Call Hyman Cap. and Kyle Bass quickly before Chairsatan and crew steal it all.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:30 | 3024101 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I can't wait until they start moving decimal points to the right.

<I bet there's an app for that.>

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:42 | 3024130 metastar
metastar's picture

It's the HFT/fatFinger lottery bot hooked directly into the lottery exchange.

The house always wins. The only winning move is not to play.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 23:05 | 3025798 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

they just added Ca. to the pool, thats another 30 mill punters,  jackpots will seen be a billion+ especially of they also increase the odds form cuurrent 1:175 mill

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:31 | 3024102 zapdude
zapdude's picture

All your powerballs are belong to us.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:43 | 3024132 metastar
metastar's picture

That's what Janet Napolitano said.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:58 | 3024422 zapdude
zapdude's picture

Yep.  Instead of "Big Sis", they should call her "Big Stick".

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:37 | 3025081 Hi Ho Silver
Hi Ho Silver's picture

"Big Strap-on" maybe.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 18:32 | 3025259 JanaUsoFine
JanaUsoFine's picture

Most bull-dykes names their strap-ons "Janet Napolitano"

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:31 | 3024104 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

Also a good time to point out that if the US taxed all people making $250,000 or more at 100%, it would not cover the annual deficit.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:38 | 3024122 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Silly VN. One can only enjoy the movie if one suspends disbelief.

<What do you mean only $94.36 for popcorn and a drink? I don't believe you.>

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:43 | 3024133 cxl9
cxl9's picture

For myself, I have decided what is the maximum Federal rate of taxation on my total income that I am willing to tolerate (15%). If the tax rate rises above that, I practice more aggressive avoidance strategies; if the rate falls below that, I am less aggressive. In any event, the Federal government will not be stealing more than 15% of my income. End of discussion. Play with the rates all you like.

Fortunately, in my situtation I am not liable for any state income or sales taxes.


Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:51 | 3024148 amadeusb4
amadeusb4's picture

The fact that top 10% of earners pays the majority of INCOME taxes says that you're an idiot.

Did you know that Romney paid NO taxes prior to deciding to run for president? I'm sure he at least squeezes into the top 10%. AMT? That's only for wage earning suckers.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:02 | 3024197 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

"If you took all the income of people over $200,000, it would yield about $1.89 trillion, enough revenue to cover the 2012 bill for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security" - WSJ

If one moves the cutoff from $200K to $250K, that $1.89 trillion becomes less than the current $1.5 trillion deficit.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:33 | 3024325 amadeusb4
amadeusb4's picture

The social security trust fund is over $2.7 TRILLION well in excess of the current deficit. So what? That's irrelevant just as your WSJ quote.

You're confounding INCOME taxes with PAYROLL taxes. Rich people don't pay into social security insurance because FICA taxes top out on income just above $100K. So someone earning $100K pays as much into SSI as that billionaire hedge fund manager. SSI and other earning income benefits like medicare aren't responsible for the deficit.

The economic downturn, Bush era tax cuts and war spending are responsible for the deficit! Don't let any Republican idiot brainwash you into handing over more payroll taxes or cutting your earning income benefits because they ran up the debt.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:48 | 3024370 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

Social Security Trust Fund?  Funded?  You must be joking.

The US is spending $1.5 trillion more than it takes in taxes, not including unfunded mandates.  This is more than the income of everyone making $250K or more.  It is simple math.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 15:57 | 3024662 amadeusb4
amadeusb4's picture

Yes, you go ahead and bet on the US defaulting on its debt. I'm sure that will work out for you and your family.

The rich should pay their fare share. Romney talks about the 47% of moochers who don't pay taxes while it turns out that HE'S ONE OF THEM!!! He makes a ton of money and DOES NOT PAY TAXES! But the rich aren't the only ones we should tax. We should tax corporations. The Mitt Romney equivalent is GE. Billions in profit and NO TAXES paid. Where's the 35% tax bill that the Republicans are always lamenting. "US has highest corporate tax rate of industrialized nations" I always hear idiots saying when actual corporate tax rate is something like 12% or lowest by far in the industrialized world.

Want to close the deficit? Tax corporations. Tax the rich. Pull out of Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Japan and a thousand other bases abroad. Spend on national infrastructure and watch the economy expand gobbling up the rest of the deficit with it. This isn't rocket science. The reason we're not doing it is not because it's difficult, it's because the rich think we OWE THEM. This is medieval and you're singing your lord's praises to the rest of the peasants. Fortunately, most americans don't agree with you. You're in the minority as are the rich themserves.

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 06:18 | 3026128 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Stupid is as stupid does.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 15:22 | 3024530 Pairadimes
Pairadimes's picture



MDB, is that you?

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:32 | 3024105 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Aaaannndd... It's gone.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:53 | 3024158 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Did you at least get a receipt?

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:37 | 3024116 Karlus
Karlus's picture

Its a perception issue. The logic goes like this: People are getting screwed by the economy. We need someone to blame. Find the people "doing well" and punish them. Everyone feels bad now.


So taxing the rich was and is not about fixing a problem, but more along the lines of being "fair."


Unfortunately fairness does not solve anything, it just guarantees we all suffer.


I would guess that while our president and legistlators are aware there is a problem, they are so insulated from this problem that it becomes both an academic issue for them as well as a political issue to avoid. Their goal is to get elected, not solve problems...


This trend will continue until there is a major event such as a grocery supply chain issue or even a major outbreak of some virus. An external event will cause people to decide its time to halt this...


Remember, if the real unemployment is 22%, then 78% of people still have their jobs, lease BMWs, eat at restaurants...


Wait until the competition for food heats up. Lets see, EBT vs cash money...

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:40 | 3024342 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

taking my luck and productivity and giving to strangers is not fair at all.  True fairness (and better results) would be achieved by punishing/jailing/defunding for corruption and true means testing for entitlements. When I say true means testing, I'm talking about actual ability to work.  If you can work then strict time limits on the dole then benifits rapidly decline.  Of course, dottering old fools like myself are exempt.


Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:24 | 3025028 waterhorse
waterhorse's picture

"True fairness (and better results) would be achieved by punishing/jailing/defunding for corruption and true means testing for entitlements."

Sounds good to me.  Take the corporate welfare recipients and punish/jail/defund for corruption and means testing would render them unable to qualify for entitlements.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 15:25 | 3024534 Pairadimes
Pairadimes's picture

If a politician refers to anything as 'fair', you can be assured that it is not.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:41 | 3024126 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Hello Apmex... I'd like $ 570 million worth of gold delivered tomorrow please.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:44 | 3024134 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture


Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:46 | 3024139 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

Ha. I'd love to see them go to their bank and try to cash it first.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:54 | 3024164 Mine Is Bigger
Mine Is Bigger's picture

Yes, sir.  Your address?  Please hold ....  Hello, FBI? I have information on a potential terrorist ...

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:56 | 3024172 SilverDOG
SilverDOG's picture

Dr. Engali,


Apmex, "No problem, please give address."

"Hello Apmex... I'd like $ 570 million worth of  *SILVER*  delivered tomorrow please."

Apmex, "Oh shit."

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:28 | 3024305 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture



You open a commodities trading account.  Thats enough to trade 30000 contracts at a time.  You could have some fun.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:43 | 3024353 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Also known as "how to get corzined 101"

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 15:10 | 3024475 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture

trading spot and taking delivery.  when TD and Scotia Bank go down there will be worse problems than being corzined

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 23:10 | 3025804 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture
Powerball Jackpot for Wed, Nov 28, 2012    $587,500,000 $384,700,000   Gross Prize 30 average annual payments of $19,583,333 Lump-sum cash: $384,700,000 - 25% Federal Tax - $4,895,833 - $96,175,000 Subtotal $14,687,500


Fri, 11/30/2012 - 23:16 | 3025811 savagegoose
savagegoose's picture

fuck it came with formatting, well bottom line cash without state taxes is 288 mill. check

for local residence state tax on lotto wins.


but i would like to ask whats the rule on charitable donations,  say you donate the amount theyre going to tax you to a chartiable org, then do you gat  it bac ak as a tax refund?

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:00 | 3024189 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Apmex solvency? And it's gone!

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:43 | 3024348 Let The Wurlitz...
Let The Wurlitzer Play's picture

Did you meen $185M.  Lump sum settlement less Barrys cut.

Dont forget to pay your "fair share"


Fri, 11/30/2012 - 15:53 | 3024642 clawsthatscratch
clawsthatscratch's picture

Better hold on to a little more to pay that upcoming retroactive "wealth tax"

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:55 | 3024167 the iD
the iD's picture

Interest Expense Fiscal Year 2013 October $12,922,741,407.27

or in other worse, the entirety of this record lottery would only pay off ~4% of a single month's (October's) INTEREST on the debt. gl w/ that.

if you didnt win your dream this time, dont worry, a record-er lottery purse will be right around the corner.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:08 | 3024219 walküre
walküre's picture

Good one. I can't stop smiling.

At what point is it becoming apparent even to the last person on the planet that the curtain on this shitshow needs to be pulled .. like yesterday? How much longer are we gonna kid ourselves that these are all just bullshit papers and bullshit numbers?

13 billion interest payment on existing debt in one month alone. The average household income in America is what? 30,000?


Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:29 | 3024308 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

Its about hope.  The lottery presents hope.  It diverts attention.  My wife always stated Brazil governement promotes soccer and carnival so people dont look behind door number 3.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:50 | 3024379 tenpanhandle
tenpanhandle's picture

I've thought the same thing about the whole Obama presidency from very near its beginning.  Right back at you with that hope thing.  The Obama circus was all about not looking behind door #3.  Behind door #3 is a brickwall and we would have been looking at it without the diversion of hope and change.  But door three is last door available now with #1 & 2 open to (now) empty rooms.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 15:05 | 3024452 walküre
walküre's picture

4th of July / NFL / NASCAR etc ..

same difference

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 13:59 | 3024186 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

One of the 2 winners is homeless...

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:23 | 3024285 lamont cranston
lamont cranston's picture

...was homeless

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:32 | 3024315 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture

I wouldnt be surprised if some bureaucrat took pause on paying out since they dont have a "place of residence".  I mean you need to fill out the form!!!

Sat, 12/01/2012 - 08:25 | 3026181 awakening
awakening's picture

Sure homeless guy, for a troy ounce of Element 79 and cash for other expenses I'll (with substitution for a US resident that is) be happy to grant you temporary residence at my premises...

Problem solved. :P

edit: forgot emoticon.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:03 | 3024207 DavosSherman
DavosSherman's picture

308,000,000 Americans.

570,000,000 Dollars.

Do the math.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:08 | 3024222 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Ouch! Looks like we need more Americans.

<OK Barrack. Time to open up the borders.>


Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:14 | 3024239 rehypothecator
rehypothecator's picture

Why, you're absolutely right! That's 216,600,000,000,000,000 people-dollars. I've never thought about it that way before!

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:48 | 3024885 DavosSherman
DavosSherman's picture

Gee I like your math, but I think my point was pretty said at who's playing, and pissing away money...

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:09 | 3024225 U4 eee aaa
U4 eee aaa's picture

HA! At the rate the Bernank is going that is a minimum wage check in a few years

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:21 | 3024274 maxamus
maxamus's picture

Come on now, you can buy off the government for much less than that.  Use the rest of the money for smart things like booze, gambling and hookers.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:22 | 3024282 maxamus
maxamus's picture

And don't forget, the lump sum is around $380M and of that probably just over $150M will go to taxes......

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:25 | 3024295 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

Which raises the interesting point:  where would you dare to put $200M?

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:30 | 3024309 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

I'd buy Greek bonds!

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 17:08 | 3024976 maxamus
maxamus's picture

Booze gambling and hookers, you missed my first post....

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:32 | 3024317 zerozulu
zerozulu's picture

You can't beet the fraud system. Probability of this guy going brook in five years is more than 80%.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 14:40 | 3024331 Dr. No
Dr. No's picture


"All l know is, l finally got enough money....that l can buy my way out of anything." -Big Ernie McCrackin.


Fri, 11/30/2012 - 15:27 | 3024541 Pairadimes
Pairadimes's picture

Spend as much as you can on hookers and blow, and then waste the rest of it.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:00 | 3024663 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

2 season tickets for the Yankees

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:34 | 3024809 optimator
optimator's picture

I'd buy the cheapest, ready for bankruptcy, green company, make some nice contributions to the right politicos, which should be a write off.  Then I'd ask for a few billion investment from the government to save the company.  then I'd go bankrupt.  Should be a very nice profit, and if handled correctly no tax penalty.

Fri, 11/30/2012 - 16:47 | 3024881 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Bread and Circuses!

(sure are expensive though for only 1 hour and 26 minutes).

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