About a third is put into the coffers of the state where you bought the ticket to pay for things like schools, public health, college scholarships or aid to municipalities. That's completely up to the state's lottery commission.
Just 15 cents of every dollar ticket goes to operating the game -- paying commissions to the retailer who sold the ticket, getting the machines and ticket stock into stores and administering the contest.
No matter what you win in a lottery, Uncle Sam and all his little brothers are going to get their cut. Winnings from lotteries are taxed just like income.
The federal government will get around $130 million in taxes from tonight's winner, which brings the take down to around $240 million.
Not to be outdone, you'll probably have to swing a big check to the local and state authorities, too. The average state and local income tax burden for the United States is about 11 percent -- so lop off another $25 million or so for their share.
That leaves about $215 million for you to enjoy. It's certainly nothing to scoff at, but it is an astounding 42 percent less impressive than the advertised jackpot.
The number crunchers here in the ABC News Business Unit have taken a swipe at spending your millions. Here are some ideas you should feel free to use if you win big:
Gearing up for '08? Barack and roll! You and about 93,000 of your closest friends could attend an Obama fundraiser for about $2,300 a pop. Or, if you're a Republican, you could pack the next bash for John McCain or Rudy Giuliani.
You could buy the most expensive house on the market today (Donald Trump's $125 million Palm Beach mansion), a private jet like John Travolta's or Tom Cruise's ($10 million), and still have enough to donate the $80 million leftover to the Church of Scientology.
You could make a decent offer to buy Michael Schumacher's private island (reportedly worth $7 million) and still have $208 million left over, enough to send more than 5,000 college kids to Harvard for four years.
You could buy 330,000 pairs of Christian Loubiton shoes.
You could buy 107 Super Bowl ads for whatever product you want to push in early in 2008.
You could buy Picasso's "Boy with a Pipe" (sold at Sotheby's for $104 million), and still have $111 million left over, enough to buy an iPod nano for every person in San Francisco.
Like fast living, fast cars and leisurely golf games? You could buy a Louis Vuitton golf bag ($9,000), an Escalade golf cart ($16,000) and still buy yourself a different Mercedes Benz for every day of the year for over a decade (Mercedes cost $50,000).
You could pay the annual salaries for President Bush, Vice President Cheney, David Beckham and Derek Jeter and still have more than three-quarters of your winnings left.
You could send more than 890,000 couples on a date to sushi superspot Nobu.
Or, if you were feeling really generous, you could send 140,000 deserving families of four on a one-week Disney World vacation. A bit of disclosure here: The Walt Disney Co. is the corporate parent of ABCNEWS.com
Whatever is on your list, lottery officials point out that "The only way to win, is to play." If you're lucky enough to win and use one of the wishes on our list, let us know. We'd like to tag along.