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Betting.net / Winner of $1.3b Mega Millions jackpot to remain anonymous due to state’s law

Winner of $1.3b Mega Millions jackpot to remain anonymous due to state’s law

Publish Date: August 1, 2022
Fact checked by: Jesse M Cox
Mega Millions lottery tickets from New Jersey (left) and New York (right); see below for rule variations among the game's 46 members, including which lotteries offer the Just the Jackpot option - CC BY-SA

Mega Millions lottery tickets from New Jersey (left) and New York (right); see below for rule variations among the game’s 46 members, including which lotteries offer the Just the Jackpot option – CC BY-SA

The Mega Millions jackpot prize of $1.3 billion has recently found its winner. Lottery officials confirmed that the ticket was purchased at the Speedy Cafe Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, a city in Cook County, Illinois. While many are curious to find out who is the lucky person, chances are the state’s law would bar and curb any curious-heads from finding out.

At the time of writing, no one has come forward to claim the monster-size jackpot. Many even questioned whether the winner was a person or a pool — and for myriad good reasons, the winner’s identity will remain in secret following Illinois’ law that allows those who won more than $250,000 to remain anonymous.

Illinois is among the 17 other states that allow such a luxury for lottery winners. South Carolina is also included on the list, as the state was headlined in 2018 for hiding and protecting the identity of the $1.537 billion jackpot winner — whose identity has yet to be revealed until this day.

Otherwise, those who reside in New York are required to attend a public announcement or press event, as per the state’s lottery website. The anonymity law proposal was considered by the state in 2019 until it was vetoed by then-Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“While Illinois winners have the option of staying anonymous, New York lotto winners don’t have that luxury,” reads the state’s lottery site.

The reason was due to how the state views lottery prizes as “public funds”.

“The New York Lottery is a government agency and Lottery prizes are public funds, so we owe it to all our players to disclose the names of winners,” the site continues.

Instead, Cuomo advised lottery winners in NY to resort to creating an LLC and claim the prize on their behalf, an alternative option should they wish to keep their identity a secret.

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