Do I have to tell anyone I won the billion-dollar Mega Millions jackpot in NJ?
The Mega Millions jackpot is again headed for seven digits as no one has won it in the 23 drawings since Oct. 14.
The annuity value will be just shy of $1 billion at $940 million with a cash value of $483.5 cash for Friday's drawing. Whoever wins the jackpot many times is forced to go through a presentation with their state lottery presenting them with a large fake check and revealing their name to everyone.
Not in New Jersey.
You'll still need to sign your ticket and present it to the lottery in order to claim the jackpot. But a bill signed in 2020 by Gov. Phil Murphy requires the state to keep the identity of prizes over $600 private, including documents that come under the state's Open Public Record Act.
Winners are still responsible for all state and federal taxes. The state will share the winner's identity with state agencies to check for unpaid obligations such as child support and taxes.
Keeping the win to yourself
Toms River-based certified financial planner Lou Scatigna, also known as The Financial Physician, said if he won any large lottery prize he'd stay anonymous.
"The biggest concern is that when people know who you are, you're prey. People will be trying to track you down, want you to give to their charity, want to scam you, want you to invest in their businesses. You get incredible harassment," Scatigna said.
The last Powerball winning jackpot won in New Jersey was in January 2021 when a jackpot with an annuity value of $23 million was won by a ticket sold at a Quick Mart in Clifton. The same convenience store at 155 Lakeview Ave. also sold one of two tickets in the drawing that matched five of the five white balls winning a $1,000,000 second-tier prize.
A Mega Millions jackpot with an annuity value of $202 million was won by a ticket sold at a Quick Stop on Inman Avenue in Edison.
Lou Scatigna hosts "The Financial Physician" program Sunday 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. on WOBM-FM, which like New Jersey 101.5 is owned by Townsquare Media.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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