Banker Bags $1M Lotto Salary for Life

UK resident doesn't even have to pay US federal taxes on prize on ticket bought in NY
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Oct 29, 2008 4:05 PM CDT
Most lottery winners lose a large portion of their winnings to taxes, but Altunis will only pay state taxes on his winnings. He gets to keep $931,500 annually.   (AP Photo/Michigan Lottery)
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(Newser) – John McCain can rest assured that New York’s “$1 million a year for life” is no spread-the-wealth scheme. The lottery’s first winner, a 33-year-old London banker, was already a multimillionaire. “Is it going to materially change my life? No,” Keenan Altunis admitted to the Post. Since he lives in the UK, the father of one doesn't even have to subtract US federal taxes.

Altunis, who grew up in the US, gave his mother $100 for the lotto while home for a wedding. She contributed $20 to the winning ticket, but astutely let her son, since he’s younger, claim the lifelong winnings. “The win for me is bittersweet,” says Altunis, who’s recently seen friends and colleagues lose their jobs due to the financial crisis.