Warning after $1b Mega Millions ticket bought at liquor store sits unclaimed (2024)

Warning after $1b Mega Millions ticket bought at liquor store sits unclaimed (1)
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The U.S. Sun has broken down the biggest lotto winners in US history

  • Chris Bradford, Senior News Reporter
  • Chris Bradford, Senior News Reporter

MEGA Millions players have been urged to check their numbers as a prize worth more than $1 billion remains unclaimed.

Lotto chiefs in New Jersey have offered advice to the ticket holder as they issued the urgent plea.

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A player bought the ticket at ShopRite liquors store in Neptune – around 45 miles from the state capital Trenton – ahead of the March 26 draw, the ABC affiliate WABC-TV reported.

Mega Millions winners have 90 days to one year to come forward and claim their prize.

But their deadline depends on the state lottery.

In New Jersey, the deadline is one year after the draw.

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Bosses have urged the lucky ticket holder to take four courses of action before claiming the $1.13 billion prize.

They should sign the ticket, make a copy, contact attorneys or financial advisors, and call the 1-800-222-0996 hotline to claim.

The winner will face a tough choice on how to receive their prize.

They can take the lump sum – a chunky one-time payment – or receive smaller installments.

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The second option is known as the annuity.

Financial advisors have warned that the winner risks being hit with hefty taxes.

Powerball billionaire Edwin Castro's mystery date shows off her convertible Mustang before hopping in his $500k Porsche

Jackpot winners are taxed at a federal rate of 24%.

But state taxes are then wiped from the winnings.

Gamblers who win over $500,000 in New Jersey are taxed at a rate of 8%.

It is one of the highest state lotto taxes in the US.

But in New York, the state holds back 10.9%.

TAXING TIMES

Maryland, Washington DC, and Oregon are among the states that have the highest lotto taxes.

The state tax rate isn’t uniform as some states have a zero percent rate.

Officials in Florida and California do not tax lotto winnings on a state level.

Powerball winner Edwin Castro won the grand prize following a draw in November 2022.

He claimed the money in February 2023 and opted to receive his prize as a lump sum.

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The prize was cut to $997.6 million before taxes were deducted.

Castro’s $2.04 billion win remains the largest prize ever won in the US.

Lottery winnings: lump sum or annuity?

Warning after $1b Mega Millions ticket bought at liquor store sits unclaimed (12)

Players who win big on lottery tickets typically have a choice to make: lump sum or annuity?

The two payout methods can impact how much money you get from your prize.

Annuities pay out slowly in increments, often over 30 years.

Lump sums pay all at once but in a smaller amount, as taxes are withheld in one go. That means 24% of your prize goes to Uncle Sam right away. Many states tax winnings as well.

Annuities can provide winners time to set up the financial infrastructure required to take in a life-changing amount of money, but lump sums have the benefit of being taxed only once.

Inflation is also worth considering when making a choice, as payouts do not adjust with the value of a dollar. That means that you'll likely be getting less valuable money towards the end of an annuity.

Each state and game pays out prizes differently, so it’s best to check with your state’s lottery to confirm payment policies. A financial advisor can also help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Experts have varying opinions on whether to take the lump sum or take the annuity.

Top lottery winners in the US

Warning after $1b Mega Millions ticket bought at liquor store sits unclaimed (13)

Millions dream of winning the lottery and finding fame and fortune. These are the biggest winners in US lottery history.

  • Edwin Castro - $2.04 billion, Powerball, Nov. 8, 2022, in California.
  • Theodorus Struyck - $1.765 billion, Powerball, Oct. 11, 2023, in California.
  • Unknown winner - $1.602 billion, Mega Millions, Aug. 8, 2023, in Florida.
  • Marvin and Mae Acosta from Los Angeles, California, John and Lisa Robinson from Munford, Tennessee, and Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt from Melbourne Beach, Florida - $1.586 billion, Powerball, Jan. 13, 2016.
  • Unknown winner - $1.537 billion, Mega Millions, Oct. 23, 2018, from South Carolina.
  • Unknown winner - he sued the mother of his child to keep his identity hidden - $1.348 billion, Mega Millions, Jan. 13, 2023, from Maine.
  • Unknown winner - $1.337 billion, Mega Millions, July 29, 2022, from Illinois.
  • Cheng and Duanpen Saephan, and Laiza Liem Chao - $1.326 billion, Powerball, April 7, 2024, from Oregon.
  • Yanira Alvarez - $1.08 billion Powerball, July 19, 2023 in California.
  • Wolverine FLL Lottery Club - $1.05 billion, Mega Millions, Jan. 22, 2021, from Michigan.
  • Unknown winner - $842.4 million Powerball, Jan. 1, 2024, from Michigan.

Topics

  • Mega Millions Lottery
  • Money US
  • US Lottery
  • New Jersey

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Warning after $1b Mega Millions ticket bought at liquor store sits unclaimed (2024)

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