Word of warning: The following story contains math.

For the past six years, there's been one fundamental principle governing our otherwise freewheeling campaign finance system: Donations to candidates and parties were strictly capped, while contributions to super PACs and other independent group could soar to previously unimaginable amounts.

That's beginning to change, thanks to legal changes in 2014 that have dramatically altered how the national parties are fundraising for this year's general election, as we wrote today.

The new rules allow political parties to take in huge checks from rich supporters for jumbo joint-fundraising committees, made up of dozens of accounts linked together. So while the law caps annual donations to national parties at $33,400 a year, the reality is that those who can afford it can end up shelling out as much as 33 times that amount.

Hillary Clinton was the first presidential candidate to take advantage of loosened restrictions, setting up a so-called "victory fund" with the Democratic National Committee and an unheard-of 32 state parties in the fall. A wealthy supporter can give up to $356,100 *annually* to the Hillary Victory Fund. By establishing the fund last year, Clinton and the DNC were able to hit up rich donors twice: once in 2015 and once in 2016.

The victory fund that Donald Trump created with Republican National Committee this week can take in a larger annual amount, but just this year: $449,400. The joint fundraising committee currently only includes 11 states, a number that could expand, raising the possibility that the maximum contribution could grow even larger.

And wait, there are even more ways to give! Both the DNC and RNC have rolled out expensive packages for their biggest backers that come with perks like access to top officials and premium convention passes. To reach the highest donor tier, supporters are being asked to fund new convention, legal and headquarters accounts that Congress created in 2014.

Put all this together, and major donors can end up giving  six- and seven-figures to the national parties this cycle. Here's how the math works:

An individual can give Trump Victory $449,400 in 2016:

  • Donald J. Trump for President: $5,400
  • RNC general account: $33,400
  • Convention account: $100,200
  • Legal account: $100,200
  • Headquarters account: $100,200
  • 11 state parties at $10,000 each: $110,000

Meanwhile, the top RNC donor tier asks for $668,000 in 2015-16 cycle per individual:

  • RNC general account 2015: $33,400
  • RNC general account 2016: $33,400
  • Convention account 2015: $100,200
  • Convention account 2016: $100,200
  • Legal account 2015: $100,200
  • Legal account 2016: $100,200
  • Headquarters account 2015: $100,200
  • Headquarters account 2016: $100,200

Total possible give for one person in 2015-16: $668,000 (top RNC donor tier) + $115,400 (Trump Victory minus previously given RNC donations) = $783,400 

A DNC donor could end up exceeding $1 million this cycle, thanks to Clinton's decision to set up her victory fund a year early and bring on so many state parties.

An individual can give the Hillary Victory Fund $356,100 a year ($712,200 for the cycle):

  • Hillary for America: $2,700
  • DNC general account: $33,400
  • 32 state parties at $10,000 each: $320,000

Meanwhile, the top DNC convention donor convention package asks for $467,600 in the 2015-16 cycle per individual:

  • DNC general account 2015:      $33,400
  • DNC general account 2016:      $33,400
  • Convention account 2015:         $100,200
  • Convention account 2016:         $100,200
  • Headquarters account 2015:      $100,200
  • Headquarters account 2016:      $100,200

Total possible give for one person in 2015-16: $712,200 (Hillary Victory Fund) + $400,800 (convention package minus previously given DNC general account donations) = $1.113 million per cycle