Posted: May 25, 2017
By Ana Santos, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
A lottery player’s luck almost ran out this week after a ticket worth more than $24 million was nearly forgotten in their home.
An anonymous individual with a Lotto ticket came forward to claim the winnings two days before their ticket was set to expire.
News coverage of the unclaimed Lottery prize escalated in the days leading up the deadline, causing the individual to check their house, where they discovered the winning ticket in a pile of other old tickets, the New York Lottery said.
The individual went to a lottery office in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday. The ticket was set to expire Thursday.
Lottery rules allow winners to claim their prize up to a year after a drawing.
“We are thrilled that this lucky winner was able to locate this life-changing ticket,” said Gweneth Dean, director of the Commission’s Division of the Lottery. “We look forward to introducing this multimillionaire who came forward in the nick of time.”
The New York Lottery said they will reveal the identity of the winner after a security background check review.
The winning numbers were 05-12-13-22-25-35 and the bonus number was 51.
The jackpot for Wednesday’s Powerball lottery grew to $403 million dollars after no one matched all six numbers in Saturday’s drawing.
Wednesday night's numbers were — 10-13-28-52-61 and the Powerball, 2.
For the Wednesday drawing, the one-time cash payoff is estimated to be at $243.9 million. The $403 million jackpot is the 10th largest in the history of the game.
The game, played in 44 states, cost $2 for a ticket. You can purchase a ticket for $3 that allows you the chance to win an extra $1 million or $2 million prize. Players choose the five numbers from a set of 69 white balls and the Powerball number from a set of 26 red balls.
You can win prizes if you match various combinations of the numbers. To win the jackpot, your ticket must match all five white ball numbers drawn, in addition to the red Powerball.
The Mega Millions lottery drawing stands at $1.6 billion as of Monday, an amount of money most of us have trouble just imagining.
Images of homes, boats and airplanes are surely tempting, but with taxes on taxes a winner has to pay, the amount you net in the end may not be what you were expecting.
That’s not to say that getting $600 million is nothing, you just may want to scale back on the Learjets.
Mega Millions and other lotteries generally allow a winner to decide how they want to take possession of the jackpot – either by choosing an annuity where the jackpot is paid out over a 29-year period or in a lump sum. Most winners take the lump sum.
In the case of Tuesday’s $1.6 billion jackpot, that amount would be $904,900,000. It’s a staggering pile of money, but it’s not exactly what you would pocket following your win.
The federal government and all but a few state governments will immediately have their hands out for a bit of your prize.
The top federal tax rate is 37 percent on income of more than $500,000 for individuals. The first thing that happens, tax-wise, when you win is that the federal government takes 24 percent of the winnings off the top. You will owe the rest of the tax – the difference between 25 and 37 percent – at tax time next year.
So, for the $1.6 billion, the federal government will immediately take $217,176,000, leaving you $687,724,000. Remember, the rest of your federal tax bill comes in April.
Now, it is the state’s turn. State tax rates vary. If you live in North Dakota, your state tax rate for lottery winnings is 2.9 percent. That means if you take the lump sum and the federal and state government both get their shares, you are left with $661,481,900. If you live in New York, get ready to get off your wallet because that state taxes lottery winnings at 8.82 percent.
The lump sum most New York residents would get after federal and state taxes would be $607,911,820. Additional taxes are charged if you live in New York City or Yonkers.
If you live in California, Delaware, Florida, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington or Wyoming there’s some really good news for you – those states do not tax lottery winnings. Meaning if you win Tuesday, you will get $687,724,000.
One note: Your winnings could be subject to local taxes in other states as well.
Here from USA Mega, a website that provides information on lotteries in the United States and around the world, is a breakdown by state of what you would take home if you win the Mega Millions drawing – both the lump sum option and the annuity option.
Hard to imagine that a multi-million dollar lottery win would be anything but a good thing. Most of us, if asked, would quickly come up with a dream “bucket list” of ways to burn through that big pile of cash (think how good you will look on that brand new island of yours).
With the Mega Millions jackpot now at $454 million, you may be busy fantasizing about the riches to come, but sometimes when those fantasies become reality, it can all take a nasty turn.
Consider these lottery winners and their horror stories (so many there was actually a TV series about them).
Jack Whittaker, a millionaire from West Virginia, became a much bigger millionaire when he won a $315 million lottery in 2002. Sound’s great, right? Not so fast. After four years, Whittaker was broke and had lost both his daughter and granddaughter to drug overdoses (which he blamed on the lottery winnings). In addition to all that, Whittaker was robbed of $545,000 in CASH, as he sat in the parking lot of a strip club. Whittaker said, in hindsight, “I wish we had torn the ticket up.”
Abraham Shakespeare suffered far more than Jack Whittaker when after winning a $30 million jackpot in Florida. Shakespeare was murdered. Shakespeare was found buried under a slab of concrete in his backyard. He had been shot twice in the chest. A woman named DeeDee Moore, who Shakespeare’s brother said befriended him after his lotto win, was found guilty of his murder.
She split a $224 million Powerball jackpot with about a dozen co-workers, then Sandra Hayes went on to write a book. Not one you might imagine, it’s a book about how the lottery ruined her relationship with family and friends. She told the Associated Press, “I had to endure the greed and the need that people have, trying to get you to release your money to them. That caused a lot of emotional pain. These are people who you’ve loved deep down, and they’re turning into vampires trying to suck the life out of me.”
Jeffrey Dampier Jr.
Jeffrey Dampier won an estimated $20 million jackpot from the Illinois Lottery in 1996. Not long after, he and his wife divorced, and Dampier remarried. The newlyweds moved to Tampa. In 2005, he was kidnapped by his sister-in-law and her boyfriend. Three days after he went missing, he was found dead in the boyfriend’s van. Victoria Jackson and boyfriend Nathaniel Jackson were arrested were convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
At least I’ll be happy
If you don’t put much stock in these stories, then how about a scientific study? According to NBC News, a 2008 University of California study that measured people’s happiness six months after winning a relatively modest lottery prize didn’t exactly produce the results you may have imagined. The study looked at those who won an amount equivalent to about eight months’ worth of income. The winners had taken the money it in a lump sum. The study found that winning the money, “had zero detectable effect on happiness,” according to Peter Kuhn, one of the study’s authors.
But, wait, there is hope
Richard Lustig is a seven-time lottery game grand-prize winner who really likes being rich.“Obviously it’s changed my life big time,” Lustig told TIME in January. “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor, and I like rich a whole lot better. We’ve lived in big, fancy houses. I drive a Jaguar. We’ve gone on cruises. I can’t complain.” Lustig’s biggest payoff came with an$842,000 Mega Money win. He’s kept most of his winnings and wrote a book, “Learn How to Increase Your Chances of Winning the Lottery.”
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