The winner of August's $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot claims prize in Florida
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The winner of last month's $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot — the third-largest in U.S. history — has come forward to claim the prize, officials said Wednesday.
In all, Mega Millions has had five prizes of more than a billion dollars.
Under a new Florida law, the winner's name remains anonymous for 90 days from the date the prize was claimed, which was on Sept. 25, lottery officials said in an email. The lottery did not confirm whether the winner took the lump sum or the annuity, and did not specify the estimated lump sum amount.
In Florida, winners have to claim the lump sum within 60 days of the drawing. They have up to 180 days if they choose to go with an annuity, which is paid out in 30 annual installments. The jackpot is also subject to federal taxes. There's no state income tax in Florida.
The winning ticket was sold at a Publix supermarket in Neptune Beach, a town along the Atlantic Coast near Jacksonville. The winning numbers on Aug. 8 were 13, 19, 20, 32, 33 and the Mega Ball was 14.
The largest jackpot ever was a Powerball ticket in California worth a whopping $2.04 billion from the drawing on Nov. 8, 2022. The next largest was also a Powerball prize of $1.586 billion on Jan. 13, 2016. That prize was split among three winning tickets sold in California, Florida and Tennessee.
Trailing the recent Florida jackpot in third place, three other Mega Millions prizes were the fourth, fifth and sixth largest jackpots.
A single person in South Carolina won $1.537 billion on Oct. 23, 2018, while $1.35 billion was won in Maine on Jan. 13, 2023, and $1.337 billion was won in Illinois on July 29, 2022.
The Maine winner collected the prize in February, and chose to remain anonymous. The winner collected the cash option through a limited liability company, LaKoma Island Investments LLC, Maine State Lottery officials said.
Historically, most grand prize winners have opted to receive the prize as a one-time, lump sum payment, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association.
Sometimes, winners do opt for the annuity, including the jackpot winner in Virginia from the March 4, 2023 drawing. That winner, whose name remains anonymous under Virginia law, chose an annuity worth $156.7 million to be paid out annually.
Before that, the last time a Powerball winner opted for the annuity was in 2014.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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