Categories
BLOG

can mega millions winners remain anonymous

If you win the Mega Millions $1.6 billion jackpot in some states, you can remain anonymous

The record $1.6 billion drawing for the Mega Millions lottery is on Tuesday.

Mega Millions jackpot reaches $1.6 billion

As the Mega Millions jackpot heads toward a record $1.6 billion drawing Tuesday, some ticket-holding hopefuls may wonder if they would be able hide their identities if they won.

The lottery prize is now the biggest ever in the U.S.

Some financial experts advise winners of big lottery prizes to try to remain anonymous.

But only a handful of states allow winners to decide whether they want to stay anonymous. Some states have a law explicitly requiring that lottery winners be publicly identified.

Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina all allow lottery winners to remain anonymous if that’s what the winners prefer, according to Maryland Lottery and Gaming.

Lottery winners in Texas can also stay private if they wish to.

Arizona lottery winners of $600 or more can remain anonymous for 90 days after winning their prizes, according to Maryland Lottery and Gaming. After 90 days, the winners’ identities become part of the public record meaning the information about the winne ‘s identity and the amount of the winning prize is subject to a public records request. Those in the interest of the information could find out by filing a request with the lottery that sold the ticket.

In Georgia, winners can choose against having their identities released publicly if their prize is larger than $250,000.

Most states have laws allowing the lottery that sold the ticket to make such information public.

In Michigan, Mega Millions and Powerball winners must step forward publicly, but winners of other state lottery games can remain anonymous should they choose, according to Maryland Lottery and Gaming.

Some states allow winners to claim their prize through a trust to avoid publicity.

In Maryland, however, a lottery winner can choose to remain anonymous only if they don’t claim the prize through a trust, Maryland Lottery and Gaming said.

New Hampshire requires winners to go public. However, a judge in Concord, New Hampshire, in March allowed the winner of a $560 Powerball jackpot to keep her identity private despite her having signed her ticket with her actual name.

The record $1.6 billion drawing for the Mega Millions lottery is on Tuesday.

Who Wants To Be A Billionaire? $1 Billion Winning Lottery Ticket Sold In Michigan

A patron, who did not want to give his name, uses the lottery ticket vending kiosk at a Smoker Friendly store to purchase tickets for the Mega Millions lottery drawing Friday in Cranberry Township, Pa. Keith Srakocic/AP hide caption

A patron, who did not want to give his name, uses the lottery ticket vending kiosk at a Smoker Friendly store to purchase tickets for the Mega Millions lottery drawing Friday in Cranberry Township, Pa.

It’s the kind of purchase many shoppers make on impulse. Eggs, milk, yogurt and — why not? — a lottery ticket.

With just six numbers drawn Friday night — 4, 26, 42, 50, 60 and the Mega Ball of 24 — a ticket sold at a Michigan grocery store made somebody one of the richest people in the country.

“Someone in Michigan woke up to life-changing news this morning, and Kroger Michigan congratulates the newest Michigan multimillionaire,” Rachel Hurst, a regional spokeswoman for the grocery chain, told The Associated Press.

Only one person in the entire country picked all the winning numbers for the Mega Millions jackpot. So unlike in other big drawings, they won’t have to split the prize. The odds of winning were 1 in 302.5 million.

It’s the third-largest lotto jackpot in U.S. history. The winner — who purchased the ticket at a Kroger grocery store in the Detroit suburb of Novi — has a choice of whether to split that up into 30 annual installments or to take an upfront cash payment of $776.6 million minus a couple hundred million for taxes.

Friday’s jackpot came after 37 consecutive drawings with no winner. The dry spell wasn’t just due to bad luck; lottery ticket sales are down about 50% from their peak in October 2018, the AP reports. Some have blamed it on “jackpot fatigue.”

The coronavirus pandemic also caused a decline, as more people stayed home instead of waiting in line for their chance at a fortune. In response to sagging sales, officials at Powerball reduced starting jackpots from $40 million to $20 million in March. A few weeks later, Mega Millions followed suit.

Friday’s winner has not come forward, but they may have to eventually. State law says that winners of Michigan-only lotteries can remain anonymous — but Mega Millions is played across 45 states, plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“Your identity may be disclosed, and that disclosure may be required, as the winner of any prize from the multi-state games Powerball and Mega Millions,” the Michigan Lottery website states.

Friday’s jackpot is the second big prize this week. On Wednesday, a Powerball winner in Maryland won $731.1 million (with a $546.8 million cash option).

The largest single-ticket jackpot in the country’s history was claimed in early 2019, when someone in South Carolina who won $1.5 billion stepped forward to collect the winnings on a Mega Millions drawing held five months earlier. That winner, who remained anonymous, chose to take a lump sum of nearly $878 million.

The next Mega Millions jackpot will start at $20 million.

It’s the third-largest lotto jackpot in U.S. history. The odds of winning the top prize were 1 in 302.5 million. ]]>