Winner of $521M Mega Millions smart not to come forward … yet
TRENTON — Who holds the winning Mega Millions ticket?
A single ticket to claim an annuity jackpot of $521 million (or a cash value of $317.2 million) was sold at Riverdale South Lukoil in Friday's drawing. NJ Lottery inspector Tom Webber told NorthJersey.com the lottery reviewed surveillance video of the winning ticket being purchased which is standard procedure for large jackpots.
A cashier at the the Lukoil told the news site that that he recognized the player as a regular store customer.
But the winner has yet to come forward, and according to financial planner Lou Scatigna from AFM Investments of Toms River, that's the smart thing to do.
"I would stay under wraps for a week or two before claiming the prize," Scatigna, author of the "Financial Physician," said. He suggested assembling a team that includes an attorney, accountant, and a certified financial planner.
He said it's really a shock to win that much money — and it brings life changes both good and bad.
"When someone wins that kind of money once, they're known to the public, all kinds of stuff starts happening to you. People want money, charities, lost family members. You have to be trained to deal with the publicity and how your life is going to change in ways you don't anticipate," Scatigna said.
Scatigna suggested the winner sign the winning ticket, take a picture of the front and back, put it in a safety deposit box or some place safe, tell as few people as possible about the win, and get the ticket verified.
Riverdale South Lukoil was presented with a $30,000 check as the latest "lucky retailer" for selling the winning ticket.
The NJ Lottery provided some facts about the winning ticket:
- Percent Deducted for Federal Withholding Income Tax: 24 percent
State Income Tax: 8 percent
- Number of Draws for this Winner: Friday, March 30, 2018 was the 24th and final draw
- Total Sales (all states), through the 24 drawings: $924 million
- Total NJ Sales through March 30 drawing: $51.2 million
- NJ percentage of Mega Million sales, for this roll: 5.5 percent
- Total NJ Winners Since the Roll Began: 996,442 (including 3 million dollar winners and 27 $10,000 winners).