$421 Million Mega Millions Winner in California

A single Mega Millions ticket in California hit a life-changing lottery prize last night. The lucky winner scored the $421 million jackpot ($289.5 million cash) on Friday night, continuing the tradition of big wins in January.

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The winning ticket was purchased at a Chevron station on Topanga Canyon Boulevard in Woodland Hills. It matched the six numbers in the January 28 drawing: white balls 3, 16, 25, 44 and 55, and the gold Mega Ball, 13.

We won't know who the winner is until they come forward to claim their amazing prize. California does not allow lottery winners to stay anonymous, so the winner's name will be published when they claim. And unlike some other states, California Lottery regulations don't let winners claim using a trust as a means of protecting their identity.

The claim period for Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots in the Golden State is one year from the winning draw date. The winner can claim in person at their nearest Lottery office or even send in the claim by mail, in which case it must be postmarked or received within a year of the draw.

Once they claim, the winner will have up to 60 days to make the enviable choice between receiving their payout as a single cash lump sum or an annuity. Most winners opt for the lump sum, even though it's smaller than the advertised jackpot. Taking the annuity means you get the full prize value, but the catch is that it's spread out as 30 payments over 29 years.

What about taxes? That's right, lottery winners still owe Uncle Sam. The winner will be on the hook initially for 24 percent federal taxes that will be withheld at the time of payment. This may be adjusted in their next tax return. However, California does not levy any state taxes on lottery winnings, so the winner will owe the state a big fat zero.

Mega Millions Wins Nationwide

Friday's drawing spread Mega Millions luck far and wide, as four tickets won $1 million and 30 tickets scored a $10,000 payout.

The $1 million winners matched all five white balls to hit the game's Match 5 second prize. One of the tickets, sold in Ohio, is in fact worth $3 million because the Megaplier option was included at the time of purchase for $1 more, and the Megaplier number drawn last night was 3X - a pretty good return on an extra buck.

The other three $1 million winners were purchased in Mississippi, New York and Texas, so make sure you check your tickets to find out if you're one of the overnight millionaires.

30 winners hit the third prize by matching four white balls and the Mega Ball, and six of the tickets added Megaplier, tripling their value to $30,000 each.

The remaining 24 third tier tickets are worth $10,000 each, and were sold in the following 19 states: California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Texas.

In total, there were 1,167,183 winning tickets across all prize levels on January 28.

This jackpot run went for 28 draws; the top prize was last hit three months ago when an Arizona ticket won $108 million on October 22 last year. This run generated 16.2 million winners across all nine prize levels, including 39  tickets worth $1 million or more.

Your Next Chance to Win the Jackpot

The Mega Millions top prize has now reverted to its starting value of $20 million annuity or $13.7 million cash option for the next drawing on Tuesday, February 1.

And tonight, Saturday, January 29, offers a chance to take home the incredible $104 million ($72.5 million cash) Powerball jackpot.

Mega Millions and Powerball tickets are available here.

Published: Saturday, January 29, 2022
Updated: Saturday, January 29, 2022