As the Powerball jackpot continues to spike well above $1 billion, Bay Staters who live near the New Hampshire border may want to consider heading over the state line for a lottery ticket.
That’s the message from the New Hampshire Lottery, which in a new ad trolls Massachusetts — warning of the prowling Bay State “Tax Shark” that devours lotto winnings.
The 30-second ad features a Massachusetts lottery winner who learns her winnings will be subject to additional state taxes.
The ad campaign airing on WMUR-TV, streaming TV and New Hampshire radio stations starts with the excited Massachusetts resident — who’s wearing a Boston shamrock hoodie — looking at a lotto ticket.
“I’m a millionaire! Thanks Mass Lottery!” she yells in a classic Boston accent.
Then she hears a knock at the door.
“Yeah? Who is it?” she asks.
“Pizza,” the unknown visitor responds, as ominous Jaws-like music starts.
“Nobody ordered a pizza,” she responds.
Then it hits her, “You’re the no-good Massachusetts Tax Shark that’s been swimming around stealing all our lottery winnings… Oh, get out of here!”
When the door opens, a massive shark chomps her.
The ad goes on to tell lottery players that in Massachusetts, the state will take an extra 9% from winners.
“Instead, live free and play in New Hampshire, where your income and lottery winnings are always free of state taxes,” the ad says.
As the Massachusetts resident continues to be chomped on by the shark, she says, “I’m going to send you back to Martha’s Vineyard.”
Wednesday’s Powerball jackpot is now up to an estimated $1.2 billion, and the one-time cash payout would be $551.7 million.
In New Hampshire, 24% of the $551.7 million, about $132.4 million, would be automatically withheld from the prize for federal taxes. Because New Hampshire does not have an income tax, no further taxes would be withheld from the prize.
In Massachusetts, the same 24% in federal taxes would be withheld, plus the prize would be subject to the state’s 5% withholding, worth about $27.5 million on Wednesday’s prize.
And then, New Hampshire chortles, an additional 4% would be taken through the millionaire’s tax, according to the Granite State lottery.
“New Hampshire is the best place to play and WIN with millions in tax savings,” Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement. “Unlike other states, we’ve kept that Tax Shark at bay here in the Granite State — so save yourself millions and remember to purchase and play here in the 603!”
Massachusetts’ millionaire’s tax creates a 4% surtax on incomes over $1 million.
However, a spokesperson for the Mass State Lottery said in a statement about the millionaire’s tax implications that, “The Fair Share Amendment applies to a person’s total income, not a single prize claim. The Mass Lottery does not withhold additional taxes on prizes that could subject a person to this ‘millionaire’s tax’ based on their entire tax filing.”