Last week, a gas station in Camillus, NY, sold a multistate lottery ticket worth $1 million. However, the New York Mega Millions winner has yet to claim the prize.
New York has one of the most generous policies in the nation for claiming such a prize. Still, it’s hard to enjoy the perks of a big win when you don’t have the cash in hand.
Details for the New York Mega Millions winner
The Sunoco on Milton Ave. in Camillus sold the second-prize ticket last week. The odds of hitting the numbers necessary for that prize were 1 in over 12 million.
On Tuesday night, the multistate lottery pulled the numbers. New York Lottery officials confirmed the sale of the ticket later in the week.
New York law gives the winner a full year to claim the prize. Because of the size of the prize, however, the winner must visit a claim center to do so.
The state operates 16 claim centers. Winners must present the original winning ticket along with a completed claim form and a valid form of identification. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, winners must make appointments.
Mega Millions tickets are sold in many states, but the rules require winners to claim prizes in the same state where they purchased the winning ticket. Winners pay taxes based on their residences, however.
A prize of this value is subject to the top federal withholding rate of 39.3%. Different municipalities and states also tax lottery winnings.
New York state levies an 8.82% tax on lottery winnings. New York City and Yonkers, NY, also add an extra 3.876% and 1.477% tax as well. Again, what tax rate winners pay depends on where the winner legally resides, not where the ticket was sold.
In most cases, winners of the lottery in New York come out ahead if they take the lump sum and pay their taxes up front, as opposed to opting for the annuity. That’s just one of many decisions that this winner will face soon.
New York Lottery history and rules
The New York Lottery launched in 1967 and was the third lottery in the US. Players have to be 18 years or older to purchase tickets, however the Quick Draw game is open only to players 21 or older where alcohol is available.
While the lottery has been around for a while in New York, Mega Millions only launched in the state in 2002. Drawings take place on Tuesdays and Fridays, and the game has seen quite regular jackpots between $150 million and $250 million in the past few years.
The lottery helps fund public education programs in the state and has raised more than $64 billion since the 1960s.
Lottery jackpots over $5,000 are subject to a state tax rate, which means the $1 million winner definitely qualifies.
Before the winner can even think about tax rates or what to do with all that cash… they have to first realize they hold the winning ticket and claim the prize.