You’ve heard of card sharks, pool sharks, even left shark.
Now meet the “no-good Massachusetts tax shark,” here to take a bite out of your lottery winnings.
The shark stars in a new television and radio ad from the New Hampshire Lottery. As the Powerball jackpot reaches $1.2 billion, the state lottery to the north is reminding people that lottery winnings there are free of state taxes and encouraging Massachusetts residents to buy tickets across the border.
The 30-second video shows a woman in Massachusetts celebrating after winning the lottery when soemone rings her doorbell and yells “pizza.”
But she sees through the ruse (perhaps because she hadn’t ordered pizza) and quickly susses out who is actually at the door.
You’re the no-good Massachusetts tax shark that’s been swimming around stealing all our lottery winnings,” the woman says. “Oh, get out of here!”
Nevertheless, she proceeds to open the door and immediately comes under attack.
The camera shifts to a man standing in front of her who informs viewers that Massachusetts takes approximately 9 percent of lottery winnings in state taxes. To illustrate this financial plight, the shark continues to bite the woman, who struggles to fend it off.
In a statement, the New Hampshire Lottery again emphasized its tax-free lottery winnings (if not the long odds of winning anything).
“New Hampshire is the best place to play and WIN with millions in tax savings,” New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu said in the 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!”
But there’s a catch: While a New Hampshire resident would not income tax to New Hampshire, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue noted that Massachusetts residents “are subject to Massachusetts tax on all of their taxable income, regardless of the amount and where it’s earned.”
Lottery winnings of more than $600 are taxed at 5 percent in Massachusetts. If the prize is more than $1 million, there’s an additional 4 percent “fair share” tax, Massachusetts state tax officials told New Hampshire Public Radio Thursday night.
“This would apply to all lottery winnings in New Hampshire by a Massachusetts resident, regardless of jackpot size,” the spokesperson told NHPR.
In a statement to NHPR, New Hampshire Lottery officials didn’t dispute that its message could mislead Massachusetts residents, but did say they paid to run it in New Hampshire media outlets.
Powerball tickets cost $2 and the estimated jackpot is up to $1.2 billion. The drawing closes Wednesday at 9:50 p.m. for the Wednesday night drawing.\