It is time for all Pennsylvania Lottery players to mark their calendars for Tuesday, Oct. 13. That is the date of the next Mega Millions jackpot drawing worth an estimated $654 million.
Tuesday’s jackpot will be the second-largest Mega Millions prize in its history. The last Mega Millions jackpot was hit in July when 11 California colleagues cashed in on the largest lottery prize won with a single ticket.
It was way back in 2012 when the Mega Millions jackpot last got into this territory. Three winners from Kansas, Illinois, and Maryland split a record $656 million jackpot.
There is a new PA Lottery millionaire
While the big money remains elusive in the bi-weekly drawings, there were plenty of winners across the country. Lottery retailers across the country sold a total of 2,651,183 winning tickets. PA Mega Millions players woke up holding 73,000 of them.
Since July, when the last jackpot hit, there have been 17.5 million winning tickets sold. A resident of the Keystone State claimed one of the 25 winning tickets valued at $1 million or more.
A ticket worth $1 million from the Oct. 9 drawing is still at large. The lucky lottery player purchased the ticket on Oct. 9 at Wegmans, 500 Montgomeryville Mall, North Wales, Montgomery County.
It matched all five white balls (20-22-39-54-60) but did not match the yellow Mega Ball 18. The winner has one year from the drawing date to come forward and claim the prize.
“Players should check every ticket, every time, and claim lower-tier prizes at a Lottery retailer.”
Lump sum or annuity – that is the question
Jackpot winners often have a choice of a lump-sum payment or yearly payments.
Which one would you choose? There are pros and cons to both.
The lump-sum prize is usually smaller than the posted jackpot. Besides taxes on the full amount, there is a reduction in the amount reflecting the up-front payment.
The annuity payments will add up to more than the lump-sum payment over a period of time. Taxes come out as payments are made and are often less.
Many financial experts recommend the lump-sum payment because smart investing can result in better returns. On the other hand, it is a lot easier to squander a big pile of money when you get it all at once.
Evidence shows squandering is a real potential for newly-minted multi-millionaires. Lack of proper financial support and a clear direction can quickly find a bank account with a lot fewer zeros.
On the other hand, an annuity payment helps slow down the squandering. A regular check can keep the initial spending excitement and a new extended family in check.
It may be a bit cliche-ish, but you can’t win if you don’t play. And you can’t prove you won’t squander if you don’t win. So what are you waiting for?
The next drawing is on Tuesday. You’ll have until then to choose between a $372.6 million cash option or a $654 million annuity option.
If there are no winning tickets on Tuesday, then it will roll over to Friday and become the largest jackpot in Mega Millions history. Stay tuned.