What if a Canadian wins the $1.9-billion Powerball lottery?

What if a Canadian wins the $1.9B Powerball lottery?

The overall chances hover around one in 292.2 million


The U.S. Powerball jackpot climbed to a record US$1.4 billion after Saturday’s draw yielded no winner and thousands of Canadians are buying tickets online for a chance to win the massive prize (which now amounts to CA$1.98 billion), according to global lottery site TheLotter.

In the past, Canadians would have been required to cross the border to buy American lottery tickets. However, the site started selling tickets online for Canucks a few years ago.

Before you get too excited, remember that the chances of winning the Powerball is hovering at around one in 292.2 million, according to Global News.

So what happens if a Canadian does win during this week’s Wednesday draw? Well they’ll be taxed 5% more than a U.S. winner. Global reports that the federal taxation rate on lottery winnings for non-U.S. residents is 30% of the gross winnings, compared to 25% for American residents. Luckily, lottery winnings are not taxed by the Canadian federal government, so a victor north of the border may still be better off than a U.S. resident (where many states impose additional taxes).

Winners have the option of being paid a sum annually over 29 years or an immediate lump-sum of the available cash amount.

If you don’t decide to flock to the U.S. Powerball, here’s how to win a Canadian lottery.

If you can taste victory already, here’s what you shouldn’t do with a windfall worth millions.

And alternatively, here’s what you should do with your Powerball winnings.

Maybe you’d be better off not winning at all. Some lottery winners have pretty sad stories.

And hey, even if you don’t win, you’re way more likely to accomplish one of these things.

—This story was updated on Jan. 11, 2016 to reflect the new value of the Powerball lottery—