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Huge lottery win will help Arizona's budget woes

With news of a winner for the $410m Mega Millions lottery drawing in Arizona also comes the question of taxes.

"That one winner with 410 million that’s the biggest we’ve ever had," said Gregg Edgar with the Arizona Lottery.

People have all joked before about all of the taxes a lottery winner has to pay, but the millions in taxes from the latest lottery winner are needed now more than ever.

Money from the Arizona Lottery goes to so many places, places such as foster children, higher education, wildlife protection, and homelessness. Now, it has a new task of plugging a state budget deficit. Due to recent events, Arizona's budget has an estimated $1.1 billion shortfall.

Officials with the Arizona Lottery says the winner will help put a dent in it.

"Between COVID and everything that’s going on in our communities, it’s nice to have a shot in that arm for our budget. It’s a good thing," said Edgar.

If the winner or winners of the $410 million jackpot take the lump sum option, they really walk away with $316,800,000. The state income tax is about 4.5% at that tax bracket, which means the state is going to collect around $15 million as a result.

State Representative Lorenzo Sierra, who is on the State House Ways and Means Committee says the millions in taxes will help helps save jobs and projects.

"That’s somebody’s job. A project that needs to be done. Those sorts of things go a long way, especially if it’s some teachers that get to keep their job," said State Rep. Sierra. "You know there are times where everything helps, and this is one of those."

State Rep. Lorenzo represents the state's 19th legislative district, which covers a portion of the West Valley.

Before the jackpot, Arizona Lottery officials lottery says they were on track to finish down this year, due to a slight drop off in ticket sales in March and April. With just this one win, however, they’ll likely finish with ahead of budget projections.