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 jackpot is at $540 million after no one match all the numbers in Tuesday’s drawing.
Many are dreaming of that big payday – the one where you wave adios to the job and drive down the freeway throwing $20s out the car window.
Not to be a buzz killer, but if dream becomes reality, you may want to roll the window back up and put your wallet back in your pants.
When it comes to winning a jackpot, there are more hands in the pot than those who belong to all the long-lost relatives you suddenly have. The greediest one, expect, perhaps for that one aunt who is never satisfied, belongs to an uncle. Uncle Sam.
>> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here Just to get this out of the way, $540 million is an enormous amount of money. If you were to win that amount in Friday’s Mega Millions drawing, then take the lump sum option, your winnings would be $380 million – another enormous amount of money.
However, once you claim your prize, that’s where the rubber meets the road when it comes to how much you get to keep.
Here’s what would happen if you take the $380 million lump sum option.
First, the federal government takes 25 percent off the top – in fact, you never even get to see it because they take it out before you are given the check. In this case, you may want to sit down for this part, the 25 percent comes out to $95 million.
That will leave you with $285,000,000 – again, an enormous amount of money.
Unfortunately, the taxes don’t stop there. Of the $285 million, you will still owe more federal taxes for the year you won the jackpot, (the government takes the 25 percent as part of the tax bill you owe for that year), and the rate at which you will be taxed is the highest one the government charges – 39.6 percent. That rate is charged on income above $413,201.
The tax owed on $285 million, taxed at 39.6 percent, is nearly $113 million – $112,816,369.05 to be exact.
If you have breathed a sigh of relief thinking you’re taxes are paid, you’ve forgotten on thing – that’s only the federal tax. Unless you live in California, Delaware, Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington or Wyoming, you’ll also owe state taxes. Those 10 states do not tax lottery winnings.
Here’s what you will pay (in millions) according to the state where you live. This information comes from USA Mega.com, a site that tracks all things lottery. The amounts listed below would be subtracted from the $285 million lump sum. For instance, $285 million minus the amount Arizona taxes ($19 million) leaves you with roughly $266 million.
California No state tax on lottery winnings.
Delaware No tax on lottery winnings
District of Columbia $32
Florida No tax on lottery winnings.
New Hampshire No tax on lottery winnings.
New Jersey $30
New Mexico $22
New York $33
North Carolina $21 million
North Dakota $11
Pennsylvania No tax on lottery winnings.
Rhode Island $22
South Carolina $26
South Dakota No state income tax.
Tennessee No tax on lottery winnings
Texas No state income tax.
US Virgin Islands No tax on lottery winnings.
Washington No tax on lottery winnings.
West Virginia $24
Wyoming No tax on lottery winnings.
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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