The mystery winner of a Mega Millions $326 million jackpot, the eighth-largest jackpot since The Big Game lottery changed its name, will finally step forward into the public spotlight Monday — at a discount gas station in Circleville, New York.
The New York lottery commission would say only that the new multimillionaire, who matched all six Mega Million numbers in the November 4 drawing last year, is a retired educator who resides in Sullivan County, New York, the next county over from Orange County, where the mystery winner bought the extremely lucky ticket at a Valero station in Circleville.
The $326 million prize is the single largest lottery jackpot ever won in the state of New York — and the 20th largest lottery prize of any kind in United States history.
While it is not yet known if the winner will take the cash in the full amount, which would be paid over 30 years, or as a single cash payment (the lump sum cash value of the November 4 Mega Millions jackpot was $197 million, the 16th largest lottery cash prize ever.)
The mystery winner will become a mystery no more when he or she appears at the Valero gas station, pictured above, on Monday, January 12, at 11 am to receive an oversized, ceremonial check for the full $326 million amount.
The actual payout usually comes within a few weeks after the winner’s unveiling ceremony, and will already have federal, and in the case of New York, state taxes withheld.
With the feds taking 25 percent off the top and the state another 8.82 percent, if the mystery Mega Millions winner chooses the $194.1 million single payment cash option — and almost all jackpot winners do — the total payout will come to an estimated $128.5 million. Not quite $326 million, but enough for most any retired educator to get by quite comfortably.
Amazingly, Mega Millions has not experienced another jackpot winner in the 20 drawings since the Sullivan County retiree hit the jackpot on January 4. That means, with no winner in Friday’s drawing, the Tuesday Mega Millions jackpot is now worth $246 million.
Three fortunate Mega Millions players — one each in Connecticut, Florida and West Virginia — matched the first five numbers Friday to win a cool $1 million each.
In total, nearly $8 million in prize money was won in Friday’s Mega Millions drawing. To see is any of that cash is yours, check your ticket against these numbers, drawn at 11:59 pm in Atlanta, Georgia.
37 — 49 — 50 — 56 — 57 Mega Ball 8
The cash value of Tuesday’s Mega Millions jackpot is estimated at $159.4 million.