For the first time ever, a person who chose to remain anonymous has claimed a New Jersey Lottery prize – and it was a big one.
The person who won the $202 million Mega Millions jackpot from the February 11 drawing recently claimed their gigantic payday, lottery officials announced Tuesday.
A law passed in January 2020 allowed New Jersey Lottery winners to remain anonymous. Only a handful of states permit lottery winners to keep their good fortune private, although some allow winners to put their money into trusts, allowing them some degree of anonymity.
The New Jersey Lottery announced on February 12 that a $202 million jackpot-winning ticket was sold in the state the night before at the Quick Stop Food Store on 940 Inman Ave. in Edison. The store received a $30,000 bonus commission check for selling the ticket.
The player mentioned that they first saw the announcement that day on Facebook and went to their car to check the lucky ticket, according to a statement from the New Jersey Lottery.
“The winner, completely shocked, managed to compose themselves enough to get back to work while they gathered their thoughts and made a plan,” lottery officials said in the statement.
At a press conference later that day, New Jersey Lottery Executive Director James Carey offered some advice for the unknown winner-to-be and said, “We always tell people when you win — sign the back of that ticket right away.
“Then put it in a safe place, talk to an attorney, talk to a financial advisor, and come to us and claim that ticket,” Carey said.
The winner watched the press conference, took Carey’s advice by signing the ticket, and went to a lawyer who helped them confirm the steps they needed to take claim the prize properly.
The $202 million prize was the 13th largest for jackpots won or split in New Jersey.
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Chris Sheldon may be reached at [email protected].