Mega Millions: only two of the three holders of $640M jackpot have collected their lottery prize
Only two of the three holders of the $640 million Mega Millions jackpot have collected their lottery prize, as officials urge them to do so.
The player who bought the ticket in Kansas has still not contacted officials, as two other winners from Illinois and Maryland celebrate their win.
Each winner is in line to receive $154 million as a lump sum.
A video producer, Tom Kreft, named by Wall Street Journal reporter Lauren Schuker as the Maryland winner today denied that he had won.
Maryland does not require lottery winners to be identified so the Mega Millions winner can claim the prize anonymously. The store will receive a $100,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket, which was purchased on the night of the draw.
One winning ticket was purchased in northeast Kansas, but no other information would be released by the Kansas Lottery until the winner comes forward, spokeswoman Cara S. Sloan-Ramos said.
No winner had contacted the agency by Saturday morning, Kansas Lottery Director Dennis Wilson said. “We sure want to meet the winner, but we want to tell them, sign the back of the ticket and secure it.”
Kansas law also allows lottery winners to remain anonymous, though lottery winners in Illinois are identified.
Mike Lang, spokesman for the Illinois Lottery, said his state’s winning ticket was sold in the small town of Red Bud, near St. Louis. The winner used a quick pick to select the numbers, he said.
“It’s just unbelievable. Everyone is wanting to know who it is,” said Denise Metzger, manager of the Motomart where Illinois’ winning ticket was sold.
“All day yesterday I was selling tickets and I was hoping someone from Red Bud would win. Never in my wildest dreams did I think this. I’m just tickled pink.”
While only three people hit the big jackpot with all six numbers, at least 42 tickets matched five of six numbers – 29 in California, 12 in Illinois and one in Kansas, according to lottery officials.
California Lottery Commission spokesman Alex Traverso said the payout on those tickets will be about $125,000 to $130,000.
The estimated jackpot dwarfs the previous $390 million record, which was split in 2007 by two winners who bought tickets in Georgia and New Jersey.
Americans spent nearly $1.5 billion for a chance to hit the jackpot, which amounts to a $462 million lump sum and around $347 million after tax.
The average American was more likely to be killed in a mass murder than win the jackpot. Fifty three times more likely, in fact. Dying in an avalanche sometime in the next decade is 160 times more likely than winning.
Unfortunately, not all Americans had a chance of winning the biggest jackpot in history as Mega Millions is only played in 42 states.
However residents in other non-playing states can purchase tickets in the states they are sold in as there is no residency requirement to play and win.
Even non U.S. citizens could have played, but the tax they would have to pay on winnings is different.
At 173-million-to-one, the odds of scoring the largest lottery win in US history are so long they’re literally unfathomable. And mathematicians say there’s no way to improve them – except by buying more tickets.
In theory, with such a massive jackpot would be possible to “invest” $173 million to play every number combination and then rake in $560 million in winnings.
That is, at $1 a ticket, and 173 million possible combinations, you could play every number and increase the odds of winning to 100% and rake in more than 320 percent profit. (Though, that begs the question: “If you’ve got $173 million laying around, why are you playing the lottery?”)
The three winning tickets are less surprising as there was only a 3% chance there is only one winning ticket.