July 24th was a fine day for Ronnie Martin – a Pennsylvania man who won $1 million in the Mega Millions lottery.
Ronnie drives for work every day between Pennsylvania and New Jersey. On his route, there is a gas station which he visits frequently to refuel and pick some lottery tickets.
July 24th was just an ordinary day. He pulled up, got the Mega Millions tickets, used his favorite number combination – the same one he’s used for years and then drove off about his business.
What Ronnie didn’t know was that his luck had finally smiled upon him and he’d wake up to a prize of $1 million. He almost didn’t believe the clerk on the next day, when he announced the prize.
What are Ronnie’s magic numbers?
Well, turns out, Ronnie opened a fortune cookie years ago. On the back of his fortune, there was a 5-number combination, which he liked and decided to stick to.
Every time he bought a ticket, he used the numbers from his fortune cookie.
His fortune finally came to life because the exact same 5 numbers were drawn by the lottery. The only thing that separated Ronnie from the ultimate prize of $543 million was the Mega Ball, which he couldn’t guess.
Still, $1 million out of the blue is nothing to frown upon. Martin chose to receive the money straight, which means he’ll get to keep a little over half after taxes are paid. He said that the money will go towards paying off his family’s home and cover any outstanding bills.
Any leftovers will go towards the family’s savings account, giving them a much-needed peace of mind for the future.
Mega Millions Had Another Winner
Ronnie Martin wasn’t the only winner on July 24th. In fact, he wasn’t the biggest winner either. A person managed to guess all five numbers and the Mega Ball which won them the grand prize – $543 million.
Of course, if the winner takes his money in cash as Ronnie did, he’d receive far less. In fact, lottery winners typically only take 30% of the award they win. The government puts heavy taxes on lottery winners.
If the winner opts for the annuitization option, they will get the full amount in installments over the next 20 years.
Lottery Prizes Are In The Stratosphere
These jackpots are getting crazy big. And the $543 million are not even close to the top.
Mega Millions handed out an even bigger prize on March 30th, 2012. Three people guessed all the numbers and the Mega Ball and shared $656 million. That jackpot was the third-largest lottery prize awarded in history.
Powerball, Mega Millions’ top competitor, handed out two even bigger prizes in the last few years.
The single biggest sum of money ever awarded paid out in August 2017. The lucky winner took home a staggering $758.7 million.
The uncontested king of lottery jackpots amounted to $1.586 billion – that’s a nine-figure number. The prize was drawn on January the 13th, 2016 and shared between three of the luckiest people on the planet.
The winners opted for the cash prize and Powerball awarded each of them with $327.8 million.