Mega Millions jackpot: Millions rush to snap up tickets for record prize

| March 31, 2012 | 0 Comments

  • Winning numbers were 46, 23, 38, 4, 2, and 23
  • One winner hails from Baltimore County, Maryland, and another from Illinois
  • Kansas winner still hasn’t come forward to claim winnings
  • The lottery is the biggest in U.S. and world history

By
Daily Mail Reporter

17:29 EST, 29 March 2012

|

17:05 EST, 31 March 2012

One of the three holders of the $640m Mega Millions jackpot has failed to come forward to collect their 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 $154m as a lump sum.

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Announcement: Dennis Wilson, director of the Kansas Lottery, announces the winner in his state

Announcement: Dennis Wilson, director of the Kansas Lottery, announces the winner in his state

Jackpot!: Three winning ticket holders are set to scoop up $154 each

Jackpot!: Three winning ticket holders are set to scoop up $154 each

Sold: Denise Metzger, manager of a store in Red Bud, Ohio where a winning ticket was bought, poses with a novelty cheque to celebrate her store's role in the record lottery draw

Sold: Denise Metzger, manager of a store in Red Bud, Ohio where a winning ticket was bought, poses with a novelty cheque to celebrate her store’s role in the record lottery draw

Success: Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery, speaks outside the 7-Eleven store in Baltimore where a winning ticket was bought

Success: Stephen Martino, director of the Maryland Lottery, speaks outside the 7-Eleven store in Baltimore where a winning ticket was bought

Will lightning strike twice? Selling lottery tickets at the Baltimore store which produced a winner on Friday

Will lightning strike twice? Selling lottery tickets at the Baltimore store which produced a winner on Friday

A video producer, Tom Kreft,
named by Wall Street Journal reporter Lauren Schuker as the Maryland winner today
denied to Mail Online 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.

Lotto

It could be you: After a 48 hour buying frenzy, which saw 400million tickets sold, the Mega Millions jackpot reached $640m

Feeling lucky? A woman looks at her Mega Millions lottery ticket bought at a convenience store on the east side of Manhattan

Feeling lucky? A woman looks at her Mega Millions lottery ticket bought at a convenience store on the east side of Manhattan

Queue

Desperate to win: Thousands stand in line for tickets at Primm Valley Casiono Resorts Lotto store between California and Nevada on Friday

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.

Optimistic? Two women celebrate as they reach the end of a three-hour line for tickets in Hawthorne, California

Optimistic? Two women celebrate as they reach the end of a three-hour line for tickets in Hawthorne, California

Victoria

Feeling lucky: Victoria Vazquez displays $280 worth of Mega Millions lottery tickets for her office pool that she purchased at Liquorland in Covina, California

‘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.’

WHAT COULD YOU BUY WITH $540M?

  • Five Boeing 767 private jets

  • 225 Bugatti Veyrons, the world’s most expensive car

  • 500 years of Tim Tebow at his current salary

  • 2,700 tickets into space on Virgin Galactic

  • New York’s most expensive $88m apartment – and another five properties of the same cost

  • The New Jersey Nets basketball team

  • 82 years in the Presidential suite at New York’s Four Seasons hotel

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.

Record jackpot : Clerk Abdulwali Mohamed Osaim sells Mega Millions lottery tickets at a convenience store on the east side of Manhattan

Record jackpot : Clerk Abdulwali Mohamed Osaim sells Mega Millions lottery tickets at a convenience store on the east side of Manhattan

Nick Jonas purchased Mega Millions lottery tickets with a jackpot of $640,000,000 in Manhattan

Nick Jonas purchased Mega Millions lottery tickets with a jackpot of $640,000,000 in Manhattan

Get any luckier? Singer Nick Jonas also got in on the action while caught purchasing some tickets in Manhattan

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.

Fingers crossed: People wait in line to buy tickets for the Mega Million US lottery with a record jackpot in downtown Washington, DC

Fingers crossed: People wait in line to buy tickets for the Mega Million US lottery with a record jackpot in downtown Washington, DC


More than half a billion: Tom Killie fills out his numbers for Mega Millions lottery tickets at a convenience store in New York

More than half a billion: Tom Killie fills out his numbers for Mega Millions lottery tickets at a convenience store in New York

#MEGAMILLIONS: TWEETERS’ REACTION TO MISSING OUT

‘Do I have to beg for my job back and return the Lamborghini?’
@glcspdn

‘I guess I’ll have to wait a little longer to join the 1% club’
@donives

‘Yay! Now people can stop talking about the megamillions’
@thejoecal

‘I am dumbfounded…I was sure I picked the right numbers’
@rgallwitz

That is, at $1 a ticket, and 173 million
possible combinations, you could play every number and increase the
odds of winning to 100 percent 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 per cent chance there is only one winning ticket.

We don’t yet know how the three winners revealed so far chose their numbers or how many tickets they bought.

There is a theory that playing certain numbers can help increase the odds of winning.

A lot of lottery players are superstitious – buying tickets with birthdays or other significant numbers.

But Matthew Vea, a computer programmer who developed a computer analysis to track Mega Millions winning numbers since 2005, said he has found no pattern – though higher numbers tend to be picked more often.

The Mega Millions lottery is designed to select five balls with numbers 1 through 56 and a sixth ball numbered 1 to 46 at random.

That means, at least in theory, no number combination is more likely to be selected than any other.

However, numbers 48 and 36 have appeared more than any others – about 11 percent of the time.
A ticket for the Mega Million US lottery with a record jackpot of $540 million is sold in Washington DC

A ticket for the Mega Million US lottery with a record jackpot of $540 million is sold in Washington DC

Money

Life of luxury: The $1.46 billion that Americans spent on Mega Millions lottery tickets could buy: 26 trips to the International Space Station on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft; more than 2.9 million new iPads at the starting price of $499; 12,000 Maserati GranTurismo sports cars; gasoline for 685,000 American households for a year; or a 73 percent share of the Los Angeles Dodgers, based on the $2 billion Magic Johnson and other investors agreed to pay for the baseball franchise

‘As long you don’t repeat the same set of numbers, your chances of winning are proportional to the number of tickets you buy,’ Michael Shackleford, a mathematician and actuary who focuses on gambling, told ABC News.

WHAT TO DO AFTER YOU HIT THE MEGA MILLIONS JACKPOT

With a half-billion-dollar multistate lottery jackpot up for grabs, plenty of folks are fantasizing about how to spend the money. But doing it the right way – protecting your riches, your identity and your sanity – takes some thought and planning.

Making sure you don’t blow the nation’s largest-ever lottery jackpot within a few years means some advice is in order before the Mega Millions drawing Friday, especially if you’re really, really, really lucky.

Q: What do I do with the ticket?

A: Before anything else, sign the back of the ticket. That will stop anyone else from claiming your riches if you happen to drop it while you’re jumping up and down. Then make a photocopy and lock it in a safe. At the very least, keep it where you know it’s protected. A Rhode Island woman who won a $336 million Powerball jackpot in February hid the ticket in her Bible before going out to breakfast.

Q: What next?

A: Relax; breathe; take time to think about your next move. Don’t do anything you’ll regret for the next 30 years, like calling your best friend or every one of your aunts, uncles and cousins. It doesn’t take long to be overwhelmed by long-lost friends, charities and churches wanting to share your good fortune. You’ve waited a lifetime to hit the jackpot; you can wait a few days before going on a spending spree.

Q: So whom should I tell first?

A: Contacting a lawyer and a financial planner would be a lot wiser than updating your Facebook status. Make sure it’s someone you can trust and, it’s hoped, dealt with before. If you don’t have anyone in mind, ask a close family member or friend. Oklahoma City attorney Richard Craig, whose firm has represented a handful of lottery winners, says it’s essential to assemble a team of financial managers, tax experts, accountants and bankers.

Q: Remind me, how much did I win?

A: As it stands now, the Mega Millions will pay out a lump sum of $359 million before taxes. The annual payments over 26 years will amount to just over $19 million before taxes.

Q: How much will I pay in taxes?

A: This partly depends on where you live. Federal tax is 25 percent; then there’s your state income tax. In Ohio, for example, that’s another 6 percent. And you might need to pay a city tax depending on the local tax rules. So count on about a third of your winnings going to the government.

Q: Should I take the cash payout or annual payments?

A: This is the big question, and most people think taking the lump sum is the smart move. That’s not always the case. First, spreading the payments out protects you from becoming the latest lottery winner who’s lost all their money. Don McNay, author of the book “Son of a Son of a Gambler: Winners, Losers and What to Do When You Win the Lottery,” says nine out of 10 winners go through their money in five years or less. “It’s too much, too fast,” he says. “Nobody is around them putting the brakes on the situation.”

Q: But what if I’m good at managing the money?

A: Invested properly, the lump sum option can be a good choice. There’s more planning that you can use to reduce estate taxes and other financial incentives. Others, though, say that with annual payments, you are taxed on the money only as it comes in, so that will put you in a lower tax bracket rather than taking a big hit on getting a lump sum. And you still can shelter the money in tax-free investments and take advantage of tax law changes over the years.

Q: Should I try to shield my identity?

A: Absolutely. This will protect you from people who want you to invest in their business scheme or those who need cash in an emergency. Lottery winners are besieged by dozens of people and charities looking for help. “There are people who do that for a living. Unless you understand that, you can become a victim very quickly,” says Steve Thornton, an attorney in Bowling Green, Ky., who has represented two jackpot winners.

Q: So how can I protect myself?

A: Again, it somewhat depends on where you live. In Ohio, you can form a trust to manage the money and keep your winnings a secret. In other states, you can form a trust but still be discovered through public records. And a few states require you to show up and receive your oversized check in front of a bunch of cameras, making it impossible to stay anonymous. Thornton set up a corporation in the late 1990s to protect the identity of a client in Kentucky who won $11 million. “No one had done this before, and there were legal questions about whether a corporation can win,” he says. “We were able to hide their names.”

Q: Is it OK to splurge a little?

A: Sure, it’s why you bought a ticket, right? “Get it out of your system, but don’t go overboard,” McNay says. But remember that if there’s a new Mercedes-Benz in the driveway, your neighbors will probably be able to figure out who won the jackpot.

Q: How much should I help my family and others?

A: It’s certainly a natural desire to help relatives in need and take care of future generations. But use extreme caution when giving out your money. Jack Whittaker, a West Virginia contractor who won a nearly $315 million Powerball jackpot in 2002, quickly fell victim to scandals, lawsuits and personal setbacks. His foundation spent $23 million building two churches, and he’s been involved in hundreds of legal actions. “If you win, just don’t give any money away, because the more money you give away, the more they want you to give. And once you start giving it away, everybody will label you an easy touch and be right there after you. And that includes everybody,” Whittaker said five years ago.

RICH: TOP WINNERS BY LUMP SUM JACKPOT

$177,270,519.67 – $365 million Powerball jackpot

ConAgra Foods Coworkers of Nebraska, 2006

Some
of the winning eight co-workers at a food plant in Nebraska  said they
had pooled whatever money they could afford for years to play the
lottery, before it finally paid off. Then most of them, without specific
plans on what to do in celebration, only aimed to enjoy a leisurely
life: paying bills, getting some sleep and even working their jobs until
a new employee could be found in replacement. A year later, Mike
Terpstra, a former graveyard-shift sanitation supervisor admits, ‘The
most extravagant thing I’ve done is I’ve started to play golf. I’m
pretty practical.’ Though a former-co-worker of his, a little different
in his purchases, now basks on a privately owned 160-acre deer hunting
and bass-fishing retreat named ‘Easy Acres.’ ‘This is paradise right
here,’ winner Eric Zornes says at his new escape.

$164,410,058.03 – $340 million Powerball jackpot 

Chaney West Families of Oregon, 2005

Since
winning their record-breaking jackpot, Steve and Carolyn West alongside
Francis Chaney have established the Robert Frances Chaney Family
Foundation for poor children and families in Southern Oregon. ‘We’d been
in some of those situations ourselves before the lottery,’ Carolyn West
says, recalling struggles after her husband lost his job and their
daughter was diagnosed with diabetes. ‘We just want to give back. We
don’t expect anything in return,’ she says.

$151,664,457.51 – $254 million Powerball jackpot

The Putnam Ave. Family Trust of Connecticut, 2011

Greg
Skidmore, Brandon Lacoff and Tim Davidson, all of Greenwich,
Connecticut – one of America’s wealthiest towns – showed themselves at a
press conference, but weren’t saying much about the win.The jackpot was
the largest ever won in Connecticut and the 12th biggest in Powerball
history. The largest previous lottery jackpot in Connecticut was $59.5
million in June 2005.

$145,985,099.64 – $314.3 million Powerball jackpot

Coterel Hiles Family of Indiana, 2007

David
Coterel, a retired father who purchased $20 worth of Powerball tickets
in a split-second decision claimed the 8th largest jackpot in the world.
Alongside his two grown children, he vowed to split the amount in
thirds as the sibling duo looked forward to quitting their jobs and Mr
Coterel – a General Motors retiree – said he looked forward to watching
his children live out their dreams. The Indiana family looked forward to
a simple life, though, admitting, with a few new extra vehicles.

$143.5million – $336.4million Powerball jackpot

Louise White of Newport, Rhode Island, 2012

White, an 81-year-old grandmother, bought the ticket on a whim when out buying rainbow sherbet at a convenience store. She lives with her grown son and his wife. ‘I want to say that I’m very happy and I’m very proud, and this will make my family very happy,’ she said at the time. Her lump sum was $210 million before taxes, minus $52.5 million in federal taxes and more than $14 million to the state.

$139,421,731.44 – $276 Million Powerball

Monongalia County Tax Office 8 of West Virginia, 2008 

Eight
female employees of a sheriff tax office embraced their win and each
other while looking forward to shoe shopping and celebrating. ‘We’re
ordinary people, just like everybody else in West Virginia. We’ve dreamt
of winning the Powerball, and you dream of what you want to do for your
family and friends,’ the group’s designated spokesperson chief tax
deputy Linda Fominko said for the group.

Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts,
or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have not been moderated.

Sincere best wishes to the winners!!!! So sad it wasn’t me….I played in work pools, on my own, etc. Oh well. Maybe next time!

@@@ – Ann, San Francisco, “It is CRIMINAL how much money these parasitic governments are allowed to steal.” Governments aren’t parasitic; corporations are########## Yes, those parasites like The Public Broadcast Corporation, GM the king of bailouts, and the non tax paying corporation GE. I’m sure you had these corporations in mind when referencing parasites……

Re picture 2….. why are two total losers grinning like jackals showing how easy it is to flush their greenbacks down the toilet? Hey ladies, I hope the ahem “wipes” were smoother than Kleenex….anyway some free advice… listen carefully… maybe next time invest in face cream instead? :)

“It is CRIMINAL how much money these parasitic governments are allowed to steal.”
Governments aren’t parasitic; corporations are.

I bought my very FIRST ticket in NYC yesterday and I won !………….Zero . LOL

Its taxed by 25%, not 50% as such have stated. and if you live in a NO tax state thats all. i can only speak for Maryland, an additional 8.5% off the top there. And I don’t know how often there are lotteries in the UK, but in the US its almost a daily occurence to have multi-million dollar lotteries in every state. this was just the largest so far.

Didn’t win anything but it sure was fun buying the tickets and hoping it might happen. Congratulations to the winners.

I have just heard that 3 people are sharing the jackpot. Any how, US lottery win is taxable and 50% of the winning money will go as tax!! Oh.. we are better of.
– Geo, London,
Your right Geo, in a away , but your being a bit generous with your calulations; and I can’t work out why you got red arrows??? You only receive 51% of a jackpot if you take the lump sum, (that’s the Megamillions by the way no the Powerball, where you only get 39%), before federal tax at 25% and then state tax, approx. anything between 3-6%. So for example if you won 100 million, you would only take home between 35-36 million! At least with the UK lottery and the Euro-lottery, what you see advertised as the jackpot is what you get! Frankly the US lotteries are a bit of a con trick, but by my saying that the DM probably won’t print this honest comment, because your not allowed to voice the truth! You would think it was a US newspaper not a UK!

my son lives in maryland…..(finger crossed)

I will give someone $50 million if you stop talking about what you would have done with it had you won!
– Jill, So Cal USA, 31/3/2012 19:00
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
ok I stopped. can I have my money please :)

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