Why you may never find out who won Mega Millions jackpot

WASHINGTON — Maryland Lottery announced Wednesday that one of the two winning Mega Millions tickets was sold in Charles County, Md., but the public may never find out who won.

Maryland is among the five states that allows lottery winners to remain anonymous. All other states have laws that require the lottery to release some personal information, according to the Mega Millions website.

“Lottery winner information is public domain, therefore it is public information,” the site says.

Publicized information normally includes the winner’s name, city, county, game in which they won, date won and the amount of the prize.

One of the winning Mega Millions ticket was sold at Lady’s Liquor in La Plata, Md. The other winning ticket was sold in Florida, where the winner’s information has not yet been disclosed by lottery officials. The two winners will split a $414 million Mega Millions jackpot, the sixth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.

The lump-sum option for the entire jackpot was $230.9 million. After federal and state taxes, each winner could walk walk away with about $76 million.

Four other states — Delaware, Kansas, North Dakota and Ohio — allow winners to remain anonymous.

Powerball says some states are considering a one-year period of anonymity to give the winners time to get used to their new lifestyle, according the Powerball website.

Powerball recommended on its website that winners bite the bullet and meet the press.

“Most of the time, it is advisable to get it over with the press so that you don’t have one or more reporters following you around to get that ‘exclusive’ interview. Even if the you can keep your identity secret from the press and the public, you will have to be known to the lottery — so they can confirm that you are eligible to play and win,” the Powerball website says.

The winning numbers were 11, 19, 24, 33 and 51, and the Mega Ball was 7.

The jackpot was the third-largest in Mega Millions history, the lottery says, and eight other tickets won $1 million each. One of them was sold in Maryland as well, according to the Maryland Lottery.

The Maryland Lottery encourages winners to sign the back of the ticket and keep it in a safe place until claiming the prize. Winners have 182 days from the date of the drawing to claim their winnings and must do so in person at the Baltimore Claims Center at Lottery Headquarters located at 1800 Washington Blvd.

h/t: NBC Washington

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