Way back on May 20, A Mega Millions jackpot of $149 was won by a single ticket buyer in Pennsylvania — the first-ever Mega Millions jackpot winner in that state’s history. Pennsylvania began selling mega Millions tickets in 2010.
But the identity of that pioneering Pennsylvania winner remained unknown for more than three months — until this week. Carl Szott, a retiree from Pittsburgh finally appeared at the Pennsylvania Lottery’s Middletown headquarters to present his winning ticket and receive his check — or fascimile check — for more than $87.5 million.
That’s the total Szott will receive before taxes, because he chose to take his winnings as a single payment, rather than in 30 annual installments.
“Winning the jackpot has been a surreal experience,” said Szott, who collected the check with his wife. “We hope that very little in our lives will change. We are really excited to be able to spend more time with our children and grandchildren.”
As to why he waited until August 28 exactly 100 days after the Mega Millions drawing that made him a multimillionaire, to come forward and collect his money, Szott simply said that he wanted to “make sure we were doing everything right.”
Like most big lottery jackpot winners, Szott described himself as “in shock” when he first learned that he was a Mega Millions winner, which he discovered whole driving when the winning numbers were read aloud on the radio.
“Fortunately, I was pulled off the road when I heard the numbers,” said the winner. “As it sunk in that I had won, I immediately said a few prayers.”
There have been four more Mega Millions jackpot winners since Szott won his jackpot on May 20, the latest — and largest — coming just last week when on August 22 a single ticket purchased in Calimesa, California, won a $180 million jackpot. That winner has not yet stepped forward.
But there was no winner in the most recent drawing, Friday, August 29. In fact, no one even won the second prize, despite ticket sales of 15,723,153.
Ticket sales should be increasing somewhat for both the Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries, as both games added a 44th state, Wyoming, which began selling tickets last week.
There are still plenty of prizes to be given away in the latest Mega Millions drawing. Here are the winning numbers.
3 — 26 — 45 — 58 — 73 Mega Ball 12
The jackpot now rises to $25 million for Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing, or $15.1 million as a single payment.