The $1.28 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot and You

Megamillions Jackpot: On Friday night, these were the winning numbers: 67, 45, 57, 36, 13 and the Mega Ball, 14. Here’s what else you need to know.

The Mega Millions jackpot rose to $1.28 billion this week, making it the lottery’s second-highest prize since it debuted in 1996.

Leading up to the drawing at 11 p.m. On Friday, millions of people bought $2 tickets for themselves or with family, friends or coworkers. These winning numbers were: 67, 45, 57, 36, 13 and Mega Ball, 14.

It was not yet known whether anyone had a winning combination for the jackpot. If none did, as in the previous 29 drawings, Tuesday would increase the total for the next one.

The odds of winning were long, one in 303 million. So you probably didn’t win (sorry).

But if we’re wrong, and luck, luck or prayer has made you a winner, you’ll be faced with one of life’s major decisions: Is it best to take a lump sum or annual payment? can i remain anonymous? Do I need a Lawyer? And what should I do with all that money?

Before we get to that, we should note that there are millions of Americans struggling with gambling addiction. The National Council on Problem Gambling operates a 24-hour help line at 1-800-522-4700.

Since the winning ticket on April 15 in Tennessee, no one has won the jackpot in any of the drawings held every Tuesday and Friday as the jackpot went up. So far, no one has matched the number five and the Mega Ball. It brought us to this $1.28 billion moment.

Forty-five states, as well as Washington, DC and the Virgin Islands, participate in the Mega Millions lottery. Nevada, Utah, Alabama, Alaska and Hawaii do not, but residents of those states can still buy tickets elsewhere and then travel to collect their prizes. Tickets can be purchased at convenience stores and gas stations. Some people just buy one. Others buy far more and in groups with other people. They are also available online in some states.

Executives at Rising Cane, a chicken-wing restaurant with locations around the United States, bought a ticket Tuesday for each of its 50,000 employees, drawing $830 million. It took eight hours for the gas station to print tickets, but the company remains adamant, and will try again on Friday.

“We’re doubling down,” the company’s co-CEO AJ Kumaran said in an interview with LiveNow from Fox on Thursday. “What are one and two rupees per person?”

Nine people came close to winning the Mega Millions jackpot on Tuesday, matching the first five white balls that were drawn from No. 1 to 70. The Gold Mega Ball knocks him out.

The last time the Mega Millions jackpot broke the billion-dollar threshold was on January 22, 2021, when the winning ticket was sold in Michigan with earnings of $1.050 billion.

Friday’s drawing amount was the second largest for this lottery, but the competitive multistate Powerball lottery had a world-record jackpot for January 2016 of $1.586 billion that was shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee.

The record jackpot in Mega Millions history was $1.537 billion, which went to a ticket purchased in South Carolina on October 23, 2018. Its winner remains unknown.

Each state that participates in Mega Millions oversees lottery operations in its jurisdiction, including sales, retailers, tax dues and other financial liabilities. Laws, including the requirement to announce the names of winners, differ between states.

Mary Kilben of the Ohio Lottery said that in her state, this includes whether the winner has to pay child support. “Internally, we investigate who that person is,” she said. “With all our winners.”

Ohio is one of at least seven states that allows winners to hide their identities, who may be wary of fraud or the target of a crime. Others include Delaware, Maryland, Kansas, North Dakota and South Carolina. States allow winners under different circumstances to remain anonymous, or whether they can collect in the name of a trust, she said.

In Texas, the winner of $1 million or more may remain anonymous. In Arizona, winners of $100,000 or more can choose anonymity, but their city and place of residence are not confidential. In California, the names of the winners are part of the public record. Some states, such as Michigan, do not allow trusts for multi-state lotteries such as Mega Millions or Powerball.

Not all lottery winners need to appear at a news conference with a big fake check accompanied by a wide grin. Under its open records law, Wisconsin’s lottery issues the winner’s name and city upon request. Any other information, including news media interviews, is up to the winner.

So you’ve just won the second biggest jackpot in Mega Millions history. now what?

You don’t need our advice about yachts, private islands and luxury cars, but experts say a winner should enlist the help of a reputable lawyer, financial advisor or accountant. Do your research first.

Tax advice is important. Friday’s winner can take $747.2 million in a lump sum or choose to take $1.28 billion payable in annual installments over 30 years. The federal government will take a 24 percent off the top, and you may also owe state taxes. Either option will land you in the top federal income tax bracket, currently 37 percent and set to increase in the future, as Kiplinger noted in this guide for lottery dreamers.

Before hiring a fiduciary or other financial advisors, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggests doing a background check on advisors, asking for references, checking the status of their licenses, and finding information about their professional history. Those resources are online.

The Federal Trade Commission advises consumers to seek an attorney who specializes in an area that is relevant to their needs, which may include taxes, trusts or estates in the case of lottery winners, and families. , can receive recommendations from friends, colleagues or. community groups. It recommends checking with state and local bar associations before retaining an attorney.

A cautionary tale: In 2019, the winner of the record jackpot in South Carolina retained a man named Jason Kurland, who marketed himself as a “lottery lawyer.” Prosecutors said on Tuesday, a jury in New York found him guilty of a scheme to defraud lottery winners, leading to more than $100 million in damages.

You should also prepare yourself for the possibility that long-lost relatives and college roommates will suddenly knock on your door or slide into your mentions on social media.

The Virginia Lottery suggested as much on its Facebook page on Friday, where it shared a message from one person who declared, “Before I win this 1 billion in Mega Millions, I’m already going to tell all my cousins.” I know.”

“Helpful words to share with all your friends today,” State Lottery said.


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