Winner claims $1.6bn lottery jackpot after buying ticket in supermarket – but still has a decision to make


A lucky winner has come forward to claim a $1.6bn (£1.32bn) Mega Millions lottery jackpot in the US.

The ticket was bought at a Publix supermarket in Neptune Beach, near Jacksonville in Florida.

However, the winner sat on the ticket for a while as the numbers were drawn at the start of August.

Under state law, their name must stay anonymous for 90 days.

It’s the third-biggest US lottery prize ever – the largest was a $2.04bn (£1.68bn) jackpot in November 2022.

The largest UK prize was in July 2022 when a mystery winner scooped £195m in the EuroMillions.

The Florida winner must now decide if they want a much-reduced lump sum or the full amount divided over 30 annual payments.

Whatever they choose, federal taxes will take a huge chunk.

Lottery bosses did not say which option they had gone for but nearly everyone takes a one-off payment.

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However, an anonymous winner in Virginia in March 2023 went for a $156.7m (£129m) yearly payment instead.

Before then, the last time someone had chosen the annuity was 2014.

Mega Millions is played in 45 states, Washington DC and the US Virgin Islands.

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