A man from Noel, Missouri, held the winning $25 million Mega Millions ticket — but you won’t believe why it took him so long to claim his prize. The winning numbers were drawn July 31, but it took the holder of the winning ticket, a man named Raul Ahumada, seven days to claim his $25 million prize.
Why? Because he thought he had only won $25,000. The $25 million ticket was sold at a Noel, Missouri, convenience store to Raul Ahumada.
According to KMBC, Raul Ahumada, a 60-year-old man from Noel, Missouri, plays several Missouri Lottery games, including Mega Millions. When the Missouri man checked his tickets on August 3, he initially thought he had won $25,000. When he found out he had won the $25 million jackpot, Raul turned in his ticket at the Missouri Lottery Springfield office.
Ahumada works at a chicken processing plant and is certainly celebrating his $25 million prize. He is a quiet and unassuming man, according to his friends – who say there’s no one better to win the $25 million prize. According to KMBC.com, the Missouri man said he and his wife, Rosa, will “try to find a nice mountain home and stay there.” He said also plans to go back to Mexico to visit his family and his mom’s grave.
Until August 6, the internet was going wild with curiosity about whether anyone would come forward to claim the winning ticket. Even Missouri Lottery officials were wondering.
As reported by KSHB Channel 41, Missouri Lottery director Mary Scheve Reardon released a statement, recommending that the winner of the $25 million jackpot ticket sign the back of the ticket and put it in a safe place until the ticket could be turned in to a Missouri Lottery office. Missouri Lottery officials also advised the then-unknown $25 million ticket holder to call Lottery headquarters to make arrangements to collect their $25 million prize.
Raul, and any winning ticket holder, has 180 days after a Mega Millions drawing to claim their prize. In Raul’s case, he had until January 27.
Although Mr. Ahumada didn’t say whether he planned to take the lump sum or draw an annuity, according to KPLR 11, the winner of the $25 million prize can either receive a lump-sum payment or 30 annuity payments over 29 years. The Mega Millions game came to Missouri in January 2010, and since its inception, 31 Missouri players have won $250,000 in prizes, while another six players have held a winning ticket for the $1 million prize. Mr. Ahumada is the first to win a $25 million prize.
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