CNBC make it 2024-03-23 02:00:52

Mega Millions jackpot is nearly $1 billion—these 8 states don’t tax your winnings

After weeks without a winner, the Mega Millions jackpot is now $977 million — the sixth largest in the 22-year history of the game.

But the winnings you’d take home could vary by as much as $106 million depending on where you bought your ticket, due to state taxes.

Federal taxes are the same for everyone. Winnings are taxed 24% upfront, although the total tax bill will almost certainly be 37% when you actually file, since you’ll likely be in the highest tax bracket.

In contrast, taxes on lottery winnings vary widely between U.S. states. They typically range from 3% to 6%, but go up to 10.9% in New York — the most charged by any state participating in the lottery.

However, eight states don’t levy taxes on lottery winnings at all:

  • California
  • Florida
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington 
  • Wyoming

If you live in any of these states, you will take home the highest payout possible. That means either $294,251,812 as a cash lump sum or a 30-year annuity totaling $616,764,360, according to

The lump sum payout in these states is $50.2 million more in than in New York, the most-taxed state.

Where you buy the ticket matters, too, as a winning ticket bought outside your home state could trigger taxes for the state in which the ticket was purchased. Generally speaking, your home state will require you to report out-of-state winnings, but will offer a credit or deduction for taxes already paid to a non-resident state.

That means if you live in California, but purchase a winning ticket in Oregon — which has state tax of 8% on jackpot winnings — your take-home amount would be worth about $46 million less than if you had purchased the ticket at home in California, which doesn’t charge state taxes on jackpots.

If you do happen to win the jackpot, consider hiring a tax professional. They can help you navigate the tax implications, including the best choice of payout and whether you owe out-of-state taxes.

The next Mega Millions drawing is scheduled for Friday, March 22 at 11 p.m. ET.

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I’ve spent 20 years studying longevity in Blue Zones: My daily habits for a long, healthy life

Dan Buettner has spent 20 years studying the world’s longest-lived people during which he created the term “blue zones,” to describe places around the world where residents live longer than the average person. Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Italy and Nicoya, Costa Rica are all blue zones, according to Buettner’s research.

The 63-year-old also picked up some habits from the people he studied in these areas that have become key to his own health. “I know what they do as populations to live a long time, and I’ve certainly learned their lessons,” he tells CNBC Make It.

“My doctor tells me I’m in the top 1% of healthy people my age.”

Here are the habits Buettner practices every day to stay happy, healthy and contribute to his own longevity.

1. Take advantage of living in a walkable city

“People are living a long time, not because they have a daily practice, but because they’ve set up their surroundings, or they were born into surroundings, that nudge them into moving more,” Buettner says.

This awareness inspired Buettner to move to the southern tip of Miami Beach “which is a very walkable community,” he says. He lives next to the ocean which he visits and swims in often, and can easily bike around the area.

“I can live an active life without really having to plan for it,” Buettner says.

2. Eat a mostly plant-based diet

Buettner’s diet plays a huge role in his healthy lifestyle: He doesn’t eat meat at all, eats “about 98% plant based,” and typically eats within a 10 to 12-hour window.

“I usually have just two meals a day. One is late morning, and the other one is at night,” he says — around 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

One of Buettner’s go-to foods for breakfast and dinner is beans. He learned that those who eat a cup of beans a day live around four years longer than people who don’t. Buettner also enjoys spinach, roasted potatoes, tofu and chickpeas.

There is one thing Buettner hasn’t given up, and doesn’t plan to: going out to eat, which he does nearly every night. “Miami nightlife kind of forces me out. It’s not exactly [the] blue zone way.”

3. Engage in lots of social connection

“There’s better research about the certainty of good social connectivity helping us live longer than there is for any pill we could pop,” Buettner says.

Thankfully, he lives in a community where he’s “constantly bumping into people.” During our call, Buettner was in a coffee shop he frequents: “There’s three people I bump into every day, two of whom have become friends.”

He spends most of the daytime alone as he writes, but “I have every night planned with people, and that’s when I get a lot of my social interactivity.”

Buettner also loves hosting friends at home: “I’ve intentionally kind of overspent to buy a place where I can invite people. Right now, in fact, I have three guests in my house.”

4. Never work past 5 p.m.

One of Buettner’s non-negotiables is that he never wants to work past 5 p.m.

“It takes an act of God to get me to work past 5 p.m.” he says. “I know from my happiness studies, that even if I can make more money by working past 5 p.m., it’s not going to make me happier.”

Clocking out of all things work around that time is a major way that Buettner manages stress. “Come five o’clock, it’s always physical activity and social time.”

5. Do something physical every day

“I wish I could tell you I had a daily meditation, but I don’t,” Buettner says. Instead he prefers to “do something physical every single day.”

Buettner gets his exercise from activities like:

  • Stand-up paddle surfing
  • Biking
  • Pickleball
  • “Social yoga”
  • Working out with a friend

“I do not do anything I don’t enjoy. I don’t enjoy cardio, and I don’t enjoy overly intense workouts.”

And after a night of socializing and physical activity, Buettner sleeps for eight hours. “You’re a lot less stressed if you’ve had a [good] night of sleep,” he says.

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The salary a single person needs to live comfortably in 25 major U.S. cities

To live “comfortably” as a single person in 99 of the largest U.S. metro areas, you’ll need a median income of $93,933, according to a recent SmartAsset analysis.

“Comfortable” is defined as the income needed to cover a 50/30/20 budget, which assumes 50% of your monthly income can pay for necessities like housing and utility costs, 30% can cover discretionary spending and 20% can be set aside for savings or investments.

SmartAsset extrapolated the income needed for a 50/30/20 budget based on the cost of necessities, using data from the MIT Living Wage Calculator.

Here’s the income a single person needs to live comfortably in the 25 U.S. cities with the highest cost of living:

  1. New York City: $138,570
  2. San Jose, California: $136,739
  3. Irvine, California: $126,797
  4. Santa Ana, California: $126,797
  5. Boston: $124,966
  6. San Diego: $122,803
  7. Chula Vista, California: $122,803
  8. San Francisco: $119,558
  9. Seattle: $119,392
  10. Oakland, California: $118,768
  11. Arlington, Virginia: $117,686
  12. Newark, New Jersey: $116,646
  13. Jersey City, New Jersey: $116,646
  14. Long Beach, California: $114,691
  15. Anaheim, California: $114,691
  16. Honolulu: $111,904
  17. Los Angeles: $110,781
  18. Aurora, Colorado: $110,115
  19. Portland, Oregon: $110,032
  20. Riverside, California: $109,408
  21. Atlanta: $107,453
  22. Sacramento, California: $104,790
  23. Raleigh, North Carolina: $102,752
  24. Gilbert, Arizona: $102,752
  25. Glendale, Arizona: $102,752

New York City ranks first overall, requiring an income of $138,570 for a single person to live comfortably. In contrast, single people in Houston need to earn $75,088 — the lowest amount of all major U.S. cities examined.

Other large coastal cities follow NYC in the rankings. In Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Francisco, Seattle and Boston, you’d need to earn $110,000 or more to live comfortably as a single person. All of these cities command some of the highest living costs in the country, particularly for housing, according to The Council for Community and Economic Research.

Californians, in particular, have suffered from a longstanding housing shortage that’s worse than the U.S. overall, so it’s not surprising that 11 cities from the state are among the most expensive places to live, thus requiring higher salaries to live comfortably.

While employers in large, high-cost cities tend to offer higher-than-average salaries as a way to attract and retain talent, housing costs can make it difficult to maintain a 50/30/20 budget.

In New York City, a third of residents spend half of their income on rent, according to the Community Service Society. To compensate for high housing costs, residents commonly find room elsewhere in their budgets, whether that’s skipping out on homeownership or spending less on discretionary purchases.

Either way, those who live alone pay a significant “singles tax” in large cities when it comes to the costs of food, shelter and transportation.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the name of Jersey City, New Jersey.

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23-year-old’s dorm room side hustle brings in $124,000 a year: ‘You can start with as little as $5’

This story is part of CNBC Make It’s Six-Figure Side Hustle series, where people with lucrative side hustles break down the routines and habits they’ve used to make money on top of their full-time jobs. Got a story to tell? Let us know! Email us at

Technically, Sophie Riegel didn’t spend a penny starting her side hustle.

She began with items she already had, searching through her closet for old clothing to sell online. After making $200 off her own used clothes, she turned to some of her favorite places to shop: thrift stores.

“I’ve been a thrifter my entire life, because I don’t like spending money,” says Riegel, 23. “I’d much rather spend $5 than $100 on a pair of pants.”

Since April 2020, she’s turned that habit into a lucrative side hustle. Riegel brought in nearly $123,800 in revenue last year reselling items she bought from thrift stores on online marketplaces like eBay, Mercari and Poshmark, according to documents reviewed by CNBC Make It.

She’s made more than $192,000 in net profit over the past four years, because her costs are minimal: Riegel estimates she’s spent just over $50,000 on the thrifted clothing she’s sold. Other expenses include shipping costs and gas money for driving from thrift store to thrift store. Online marketplaces keep between 10% and 20% of her sales.

Much of her business’ growth came from her dorm room at Duke University, where she graduated last year with a degree in psychology. She’s pursuing a full-time career as a professional writer, speaker and life coach —  and expects her side hustle to comprise roughly 50% of her income this year, she says.

“I started buying things for $5 to $10, flipping them for $50 to $100,” says Riegel. “That seemed to work really well. I had maybe 200 or so items in my dorm room my sophomore year, and now I have 1,300 items [in a storage unit].”

Here, Riegel discusses the work she put in to turn her love of thrifting into a six-figure annual business, along with tips for anyone else to follow in her footsteps.

CNBC Make It: You’re already coaching clients to start their own thrifting side hustles. What are some of your best tips for people who want to replicate your success?

Riegel: The biggest thing is you’ve got to have fun with it. If you’re not enjoying it, don’t do it.

Start with what you know the most about. If you know a lot about clothing, start with that. It can be really easy to just buy a lot — that’s the fun part — but it doesn’t sell if you don’t list it. So even if your listing is imperfect, get it up, get it out there, because there’s a market for everything.

Keep learning. If you go in with a mindset of “I already know this stuff, I don’t need any resources,” it’s likely that you won’t do as well as if you went in with the mindset of “This is a great opportunity for me to learn more about myself, about brands, and all of that.”

I followed tons and tons and tons of other resellers on YouTube. I spent hours and hours learning brands, learning how to use all of the platforms. I’ve learned the strategies of each of the stores I go to, and figured out when they put out the new shoes when they do X, Y and Z.

The Goodwills in my area put a new color out every week. So, when I go to those stores, I only look for that color.

How much cash do you need to start a thrifting side hustle?

Factoring in shipping and all of that stuff — obviously, you need to pay for gas — $100 makes sense.

[In terms of the thrifting], you can start with as little as $5. You get one good thing for $5 and you’ve got more money already: $5 turns into $20, turns into $100.

If you start with your own stuff, you need $0.

What are the most important traits someone needs to succeed at this?

You’ve got to be consistent and persistent. Right now, I list 10 to 20 items a day. And because I list every day, things are selling constantly.

You’ve got to be organized. You have to be patient — I’m not very good at that, but I’m working on it.

The biggest thing is: You’ve got to be willing to ask for help when you need it. You don’t have to do this all alone. When I first started, my dad helped me with all of my shipping. He helped me move everything from different storage units. I didn’t have to do it alone because I asked for help.

Do you see yourself expanding your side hustle in the future? What would that look like?

I’m pretty happy with where I am. I do see, in the future, potentially having employees do all of the stuff that I know I don’t want to do — like the shipping, listing and photographing. That would be great. It is a lot of work for one person.

But right now, I wouldn’t change it because I love what I do.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Barbara Corcoran was ‘scared’ after selling her real estate firm for $66 million in 2001

Barbara Corcoran sold her real estate firm, The Corcoran Group, in 2001, but said in a recent interview that she still hasn’t spent most of the $66 million she got in the deal.

In an episode of the Earn Your Leisure podcast released on Wednesday, the millionaire investor and star of ABC’s Shark Tank said that, at first, it was fear that kept her from spending the money.

“I was scared. I figured ‘I don’t have my golden goose laying any eggs anymore.’ All of my staff was gone and I had no way to produce money. I thought to myself ’Heck, I better hold on to this money,” she said.

Corcoran also shared in the interview that after NRT, now known as Anywhere Advisors, paid her the $66 million, she kept the money in her checking account for four years instead of investing it, something she admitted to the hosts was irresponsible.

The 75-year-old told podcast hosts Rashad Bilal and Troy Millings that when she did feel comfortable spending the money, some of the first things she bought include a beach house, a Porsche, and homes for several of her siblings. “I did all of the kind of crazy things that people did who never had a pot to pee in. I was able to be fancy for a minute,” Corcoran said.

“I made everybody happy with the money, and I still had tons of money left over. It was great.”

Corcoran claims she always knew she would sell her brokerage for $66 million because it was her “lucky number.” In a 2023 TikTok video, Corcoran said the buyer initially offered her $22 million, but she had already decided $66 million was the only number she would accept.

“I figured my business had to be worth something,” Corcoran said. “After all, we were making money. But what it was worth, or how the heck to figure it out, I had no idea.”

Corcoran rejected the $22 million offer as a negotiation tactic, and they agreed to the amount she wanted the very next day. ”$66 million dollars, and not a penny less,” she said.

“I was acting like the big deal I knew I wasn’t, and I hung up.”

The sale was a huge moment for her and taught her a lesson in negotiating that she still carries on today: “Negotiation has more to do with good timing than money.”

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”

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