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Woman wins $20 million lottery prize but loses $5 million after making controversial choice

Katherine Sidnell

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| Last updated 

Woman wins $20 million lottery prize but loses $5 million after making controversial choice

Featured Image Credit: Anadolu Agency/Contributor/Scott Olson/Staff/Getty

Everybody dreams of winning the lottery, but no one ever thinks of the potential downsides.

Aside from the risk of losing it all, there are also much more surprising issues facing those who win big.

In fact, one woman is set to lose $5 million from her $20 million jackpot after making one controversial choice.

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The woman stands to lose a quarter of her $20 jackpot. Credit: Getty
The woman stands to lose a quarter of her $20 jackpot. Credit: Getty

The unnamed woman, only known as McDonnell, won the staggering sum from a scratch card on Ohio's Billion scratch-off game.

Beating one in 6.48 million odds, the Brooklyn woman is set to receive over $20 million (£15.7m) from the highly sought-after jackpot.

Rather than have one epic payday though, she reportedly opted to receive $1 million per year for the next two decades.

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While you might applaud her for the sensible financial decision, it could cost her up to a quarter of her newfound fortune. (Ouch)

It's surprising how much tax you have to pay on the winnings. Credit: Getty
It's surprising how much tax you have to pay on the winnings. Credit: Getty

This is because she will be taxed on her winnings each year, meaning after state and federal deductions she will only receive an estimated $720,000.

Added up across twenty years, it means $5 million (£3.9m) will go straight into the tax man’s pocket.

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When you also factor in the $50 spent on the ticket as well, it seems a pretty harsh fine for someone who only wanted to invest in their future.

However, she won’t be the only one having to pay up.

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The Ohio Lottery has confirmed that are still three prizes of $1 million per year up to be won.

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In addition to the lucky ticketholders, the store where McDonnell bought her scratch card will also get a staggering sum.

The Memphis Shell station in Cleveland will receive $100,000 as a bonus for selling the millionaire-making ticket – although it’s unclear whether they’ll be taxed on this too.

Last month, a downtown LA store also got a huge bonus after selling a Powerball ticket which won over a billion dollars.

Now, the owner of Las Palmitas Mini Market, Raul Nabor Herrera, will gain a 0.5 percent bonus of the prize fund – up to a million dollars.

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Speaking about his sudden windfall, the dad-of-four said he hoped to take his children to Cancun with the winnings.

He also admitted that he was unaware of what happened until camera crews arrived, saying: “It’s a surprise for me… I don’t know what it is, filming or what.”

It seems everyone is a winner right now.

Topics: News, US News, Money

Katherine Sidnell
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