Third largest US lottery jackpot ever

A lucky lottery ticket buyer in Illinois could soon become a billionaire, following Friday night’s $1.337 billion Mega Millions draw.

According to lottery officials, the winning numbers – 13, 36, 45, 57 and 67 and a golden Mega Ball were 14 – match a single ticket sold at a Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, Illinois, about 17 miles northwest of Chicago. The winner has yet to claim the prize, Harold Mays, director of the Illinois Lottery, said at a news conference Saturday.

“We don’t know if they know they’ve won the award,” Mays said. “So I encourage people to check your tickets.”

The jackpot is ranked as third highest lottery prize in American historyand the winner – who likely paid about $2 for the ticket – will earn $780.5 million in one-time cash or annual payments for the next 30 years.

If the winner chooses the more popular pooling option, recommended by “Shark Tank” investor Kevin O’Leary, he or she will be charged the required 24% federal tax withholding. The winner will likely also owe state income tax: If the winner lives in Illinois, the winnings will be treated as taxable income at the state’s 4.95% rate, and they may have more debt if they live in a state with a higher income tax rate.

That means the winner will have to owe a minimum of nearly $226 million in taxes, reducing the take-home pay to about $554.5 million — still a potentially life-changing sum.

In one statement On Saturday, Mega Millions also noted that 26 tickets have won second-class prizes of $2 million or $1 million each, and a total of 14,391,740 tickets have won an amount across nine other prize classes. together on Friday night.

If you’re one of the lucky winners – especially if you’re the mysterious jackpot winner – experts say you should take immediate steps to protect your ticket and your privacy.

Emily Irwin, senior consulting director at Wells Fargo Wealth & Investment Management, “Privacy is key”, told CNBC on Friday. “That provides safety for both you and your family from scammers or other individuals who may start to prey on you.”

You should then hire a team of professionals to assist you, including an experienced attorney, a financial advisor, a tax advisor, and an insurance professional, like CNBC recently noticed.

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Do not miss: The 10 Best Places to Win the $1.34 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot

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