Michigan Winners Of $1 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot Take Home $557 Million

Four people will split a $557 million top prize, after they elected to go with the lump sum and paid more than $200 million in taxes.
Kroger store

The Michigan winners of the third-largest U.S. lottery jackpot in history have come forward, though their names haven’t been made public.

According to the Michigan Lottery, an Oakland County lottery club has claimed the $1.05 billion Mega Millions jackpot that was hit back in January. It’s the largest lottery prize ever won by a Michigan resident, crushing the $337 million Powerball jackpot won in the state on Aug. 15, 2012.

The four-member Wolverine FLL Club’s winning ticket matched all of the numbers drawn Jan. 22: 04-26-42-50-60 and the Mega Ball 24. The winning ticket was bought at a Kroger in Novi (pictured above).

“A club member saw a sign that the jackpot was up to $1 billion and remembered that they hadn’t bought their tickets yet, so they pulled into the Kroger,” said the club’s representative and attorney, Kurt D. Panouses. “When you play, of course you dream of winning, but the reality of it has been incredible.”

One would think a lottery club wouldn’t have been on the verge of skipping out on a historic jackpot before remembering at the last minute … but COVID-19 is still ongoing, so we won’t question them here.

Rumors weeks ago, based on a blog post from a local educator, stated that a group of local teachers had won the jackpot. It’s unclear, however, if the lottery club members are teachers.

Hundreds of millions shaved off jackpot

The Wolverine FLL Club chose to receive their prize as a one-time lump sum payment of about $776 million instead of annuity payments. That’s what is typically done with the massive multi-state lottery prizes in recent years. Winners don’t want to wait.

After required income tax withholdings of 24% federal tax (about $186 million) and 4.25% state tax (about $33 million), the club received about $557 million, according to the Michigan Lottery.

The Kroger location, one of 10,500 lottery retailers across the state, received a $50,000 bonus commission for selling the winning ticket.

As for the benefits to the Michigan Lottery itself, it reported that from the start of the fiscal year in October through the end of the jackpot run, Mega Millions sales were up about 110% compared to the same period a year prior. The $1.05 billion jackpot began growing in September.

“Having a record-setting jackpot win in Michigan is great news all around,” Lottery Commissioner Brian Neill said in a statement.

The year-over-year growth in Mega Millions ticket sales needs to be put into context, however. The last time a lottery jackpot climbed to at least $1 billion was in 2018. The largest multi-state lottery jackpot in 2020 was $410 million, so the excitement wasn’t nearly as high.

In addition to the retail locations, Michiganders can play the lottery, including Mega Millions and Powerball, from anywhere on their phones.


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