If you think you hold the winning ticket for last night’s $340 million Mega Millions jackpot lottery, there’s some good news and there’s some bad news.
But before we get to that, here are the winning numbers for Mega Millions on Friday. They were 17, 21, 29, 39 and 56, according to Newsweek. The Mega Ball was 22, and the Megaplier was 3x.
Okay, let’s get to the good news, bad news part. First the bad news. To put it in stark terms, you don’t have the winning ticket for the $340 million prize or the cash option of $230 million. Sorry, it’s just the way the balls bounced.
No one won the jackpot with all five white balls and the Mega Ball. And adding insult to injury, no one won the $1 million prize, either, by correctly selecting all five balls without the Mega Ball.
Now, let’s get to some of the good news. (There is some good news. No, really, there is.) There were 31 winners of the $10,000 prize. They selected four of the five white balls plus the Mega Ball. Five others won the Megaplier prize. That was worth $30,000. Not too shabby.
About 750 people also won $500 for matching four of the five white balls and more than 100 people tripled their winnings to $1,500 with the multiplier. Another 2,000 or so people won $2,000 and about 250 won $600 with the multiplier after selecting the right three white balls and the Mega Ball.
So, don’t give up on your Mega Millions dreams just yet. Here’s some more good news. The fact that nobody won the jackpot yesterday means that it makes the next one that much bigger. It’s now at $372 million (the cash prize is $256.6 million.)
Here’s a bit of info that may help you save a few million dollars, if you win the next time. CNBC says, keep quiet. You’ll find a lot of people will be coming to you for a piece of your prize. The financial network also says, sign your ticket – immediately.
“You want the ticket signed because whoever signs it is the winner,” Jason Kurland, a partner at Rivkin Radler, a law firm in Uniondale, New York, told the cable station.
And here are some stark statistics and facts from the I.R.S. It wants its cut. It will take about one quarter of the total. For Friday’s Jackpot that would amount to more than $60 million. Ouch! Wait, it gets worse. There are also state taxes that may be withheld, depending on where you live.
“Winners are surprised by how much is withheld in taxes from the initial payment, and then how much more is owed when they file their taxes the following year,” Kurland said.
But don’t let the tax implications stop you from dreaming. So, you may still want to call on the lottery gods for the next jackpot. The drawing is just a few days away on Tuesday, December 17. You will have to stay up late, though. The draw isn’t until 11 p.m. ET.