Minnesota's First Mega Millions Jackpot Winners Claim Prize
The first-ever Mega Millions jackpot winners in Minnesota have come forward to claim their prize less than a month after winning in the April 12 draw.
The ticket was purchased at Holiday Stationstores, located at 14350 Xkimo St. NW in Ramsey, north of St. Paul. The retailer received a $50,000 bonus from the Lottery.
The winners took the cash lump sum payout, which is estimated at $66.9 million before the required withholdings of 24% in federal taxes and 7.25% in state taxes.
The prize is the fifth-biggest in Minnesota Lottery history; the largest was a $228.9 million Powerball jackpot won in 2011.
The couple chose to remain anonymous, which is the default for winners of over $10,000 since a new law came into effect on September 1, 2021. This prize is the biggest claimed anonymously so far. Big winners now have their names and cities kept private unless they specifically give permission to make their data public.
"They always liked hearing stories about previous winners, so they wanted to share a little bit about them while still remaining anonymous," said Erika Helvick Anderson, the Minnesota Lottery's director of public affairs. "They are still wrapping their head around this."
"Love Story Turned Lottery Story"
The couple revealed that they spent their first date on April 17, 1990 sharing pizza and playing scratch tickets, which had just gone on sale for the first time that day. It was a "love story turned lottery story," the MN Lottery Tweeted.
In a way, the scratch games led to their Mega Millions win over 30 years later, because the wife has played the same numbers ever since.
Although she's occasionally taken a break from playing, she's taken part in every draw since the end of 2021- and those romantic numbers have really come through. “Thank goodness! If I had seen those numbers and I didn’t have a ticket …” she told the Minnesota Lottery.
On the night of the draw, the wife was falling asleep until she realized it was after 10:00 PM and checked the winning numbers on her phone. She couldn't believe she was seeing her lucky numbers and had to look a further two times as the reality dawned.
"Come up here right now, I'm not even kidding," she texted her husband, who was in the basement watching sports. He ran upstairs and looked at the numbers in amazement before asking if she had a ticket.
After finally grabbing a few hours of sleep, the pair left for work the following morning as usual, although the wife said she only managed about five minutes of work.
Over the next few weeks the couple revealed their big news to a few relatives and co-workers. They also hired a team to help them with the financial and legal aspects of their life-changing win, before visiting the Minnesota Lottery headquarters in Roseville this week to put in their claim.
The couple said they have "typical" plans for the future, including retiring this summer and possibly using their winnings to purchase a new house and cars as well as to travel.
The Mega Millions jackpot has climbed to $57 million, with a cash option of $33.9 million, for the next draw on Tuesday, May 3.
Players have another chance to win even sooner, with a $20 million Powerball top prize (cash value $12 million) up for grabs tonight, Saturday, April 30.
Pick up your tickets for both draws now.Published: Saturday, April 30, 2022
Updated: Saturday, April 30, 2022