The $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot has been won by someone in Illinois, making it the third-largest lottery prize in U.S. history. The matched ticket was sold at a Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, Illinois, about 17 miles northwest of Chicago.
The winning numbers were 13, 36, 45, 57, and 67, as well as a gold Mega Ball, according to lottery officials. Since the winner has yet to claim the prize. Harold Mays, Director of the Illinois Lottery, encourages people to check their tickets.
“We don’t know whether or not they even know that they won a prize,” Mays said at a news conference on Saturday. “So, I encourage everybody to check your ticket.”
The jackpot is the third-largest in American history, and the winner, who most likely paid around $2 for the ticket, will either receive $780.5 million in cash as a single payment or payments in an annuity over the next 30 years.
The question now is how much of that goes into the winner’s wallet and how much goes to taxes.
The New York Post reported that Illinois currently withholds 24 percent in federal taxes and 4.95 percent in state income taxes, though this may not be the total tax obligation, depending on the winner’s financial situation.
It means the winner should expect to pay at least nearly $226 million in taxes, reducing the take-home amount to around $554.5 million, which is still a potentially life-changing sum of money.
If the winner accepts the full $1.337 billion in annual installments and tax rates do not change over the next 29 years, an estimated $320.9 million in federal taxes and an estimated $66.2 million in state taxes will be withheld. That equates to a $949.9 million take-home pay over a 29-year period.
Nevertheless, the identity of the $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot winner may never be revealed due to an Illinois law that allows people who win more than $250,000 to keep their names hidden. The winner of the all-time high ticket, purchased in South Carolina in 2018 for $1.537 billion, has yet to be revealed too.
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