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Why We May Never Know Who Won $1.3 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot

Why We May Never Know Who Won $1.3 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot

The lucky winner may choose to never reveal themselves

Last week one lucky punter won a whopping $1.337 billion (£1.09bn) in the Mega Millions lottery in the US - the second largest jackpot Mega Millions has ever seen. 

Following the win, it was revealed that the ticket had been bought in Illinois and it's due to this that we may never know who the winner is.

Laws surrounding whether a lottery winner is revealed to the public differ from state to state - so if, for example, the ticket was bought in the state of New York, the winner would be required to take part in a press event or public announcement. 


But in the state of Illinois, anyone who wins more than $250,000 (£203,807) is allowed to keep their anonymity. 

Other states, including Florida, Ohio, Texas and Kansas all follow similar rules - meaning winners can keep their good fortune from the rest of the world. 

The Mega Millions website states: “Some states require their lotteries to publicly identify winners, while others do not. 

"Check with the lottery in your jurisdiction."

The winning ticket was sold at the Speedway fuel and convenience store on East Touhy Avenue in the Chicago suburb of Des Plaines.

Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald praised the winner in a statement, saying: "Congratulations to the Illinois Lottery for selling the winning ticket for the $1.28 billion [the jackpot was initially estimated to be $1.28bn before being revised to $1.33bn] Mega Millions jackpot. We're eager to find out who won and look forward to congratulating the winner soon!"


Of course, the winner may choose to go public, but it's interesting to note that the winner of the largest US jackpot - $1.537 billion (£1.2bn) purchased in South Carolina in 2018 - decided to keep their anonymity. 

Despite landing the eye-watering sum, the winner could see their actual take home jackpot to $433.7 million, once various taxes are taken into account.

The winner will be offered the choice of having the jackpot paid out over time, or an immediate lump sum of $747.2m (£613.47m).

Most winners opt for the lump sum - and as US lottery winnings are taxed, the IRS would take up to 37 percent of the winnings, with 24 percent withheld and sent directly to the government.

There could also be further reductions, due to the win pushing the winner into the top tax bracket - meaning they pay more than 24 percent tax - and they could also be whacked with Illinois's 4.95 percent state income tax, leaving them with around $433.7m (£355.6m).

Either way they’re still getting their hands on a life-changing sum, so I can’t imagine they’re too upset. 

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected] 

Featured Image Credit: Koshiro K/ZUMA Press, Inc./Alamy

Topics: US News