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$239 Million Mega Millions Lottery Jackpot Remains Unclaimed

Mega MillionsMega Millions: $239 Million Mega Millions Lottery Jackpot Remains Unclaimed

Nearly a month after a Mega Millions ticket matched all six numbers to win a $239 million jackpot, the whereabouts of that ticket -- and the identity of the person who bought it -- are still unknown.

The ticket was purchased at Red Apple in Stephens City, Virginia for the February 20, 2004 Mega Millions drawing.  It was the only ticket in that drawing to match the winning numbers 01-13-20-21-30 and the Mega Ball number 24.

Since that drawing there has been a large amount of speculation, but no one has shown up at the Virginia Lottery's door, holding that winning ticket.

"The winner may still be waiting for the dust to settle and to get his or her affairs in order," says Virginia Lottery Executive Director Penelope W. Kyle.  "We always advise all of our winners to obtain financial and legal advice before they make the necessary decisions required by the Lottery in order to claim their winnings."

The ticket will expire 180 days after the drawing, which means the winner has until August 17, 2004 to claim the prize.  If that happens, he or she can take the $239 million in 26 annual payments of $9.19 million per year before taxes or a one-time cash option of approximately $141.5 million before taxes.

If this prize is not claimed within the required 180-day time limit, each of the eleven participating states in the Mega Millions game will get back all the money they contributed to that jackpot.  Each state uses unclaimed prizes for different purposes.  For example, in Virginia, it is required by law that all unclaimed prizes go to the state Literary Fund, which is used solely for educational purposes, such as school construction, renovation, and teacher retirement funding.

Press Release and Lottery Post Staff

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15 comments. Last comment 10 years ago by CASH Only.
Page 1 of 2

United States
Member #379
June 5, 2002
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Posted: March 16, 2004, 12:49 pm - IP Logged

Todd:

You have VA winners having 60 days from the DRAWING in which to choose cash.

    Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
    Chief Bottle Washer
    New Jersey
    United States
    Member #1
    May 31, 2000
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    Posted: March 16, 2004, 2:35 pm - IP Logged

    That is correct.  The statement above about the cash option does not mention this limitation.

     

    Check the State Lottery Report Card
    What grade did your lottery earn?

     

    Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
    Help eliminate computerized drawings!

      fja's avatar - gnome1

      United States
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      January 19, 2002
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      Posted: March 16, 2004, 2:52 pm - IP Logged

      this person is either very smart and very calm about the whole thing, or they dont even know they have the ticket yet!  (maybe thier going through a divorce)

      "Everybody has to believe in something...I believe I'll have another beer!"   = W.C.Fields                      

        Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
        Chief Bottle Washer
        New Jersey
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        Posted: March 16, 2004, 3:12 pm - IP Logged
        Quote: O

         

        Check the State Lottery Report Card
        What grade did your lottery earn?

         

        Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
        Help eliminate computerized drawings!

          weshar75's avatar - Lottery-042.jpg
          Mcminnville, Oregon
          United States
          Member #3013
          December 13, 2003
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          Posted: March 16, 2004, 4:26 pm - IP Logged

          Todd:

          What happens after the 60 day limitation on the choice of annuity or cash?  Does the winner only have the annuity option left. 

            Todd's avatar - Cylon 2.gif
            Chief Bottle Washer
            New Jersey
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            May 31, 2000
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            Posted: March 16, 2004, 5:33 pm - IP Logged

            It depends on the state.  My home state requires that you make a selection at the time you buy the ticket, and after 60 days you wouldn't be able to change that selection.  Other states you don't make any selection when you buy the ticket.  I'm not sure what Virginia does. 

             

            Check the State Lottery Report Card
            What grade did your lottery earn?

             

            Sign the Petition for True Lottery Drawings
            Help eliminate computerized drawings!

              twisted's avatar - underground
              New Jersey
              United States
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              September 25, 2003
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              Posted: March 17, 2004, 12:49 am - IP Logged

              I know its probably too early to think about this, but how many states put the unclamined prizes back in the pot?

                DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
                Yinzer Country, PA
                United States
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                March 18, 2004
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                Posted: March 18, 2004, 10:53 pm - IP Logged

                i wouldn't be too surprised if the winner claims it at the last minute.

                  vincejr's avatar - wallace
                  Somewhere in VA
                  United States
                  Member #1944
                  July 29, 2003
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                  Posted: March 20, 2004, 1:56 pm - IP Logged
                  Quote: Originally posted by CASH Only on March 16, 2004



                  Todd:

                  You have VA winners having 60 days from the DRAWING in which to choose cash.





                  CASH, that is incorrect. According to the rules of the Virginia Lottery, winners of jackpots in Virginia Lottery drawings have 60 days from the date in which they claim the prize in order to choose whether they wish to take the prize as a cash option or the annuity. If the decision is not made at the time of claiming, the lottery will hold the winnings in trust until the decision is made or the 60 day limit has expired. If the 60 day limit expires, the default choice is the annuity.

                  Therefore, technically, the decision as to whether to take the cash option or the annuity can occur as late as 240 days (the 180 claiming period plus the 60 day option period) from the date of the drawing.

                    DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
                    Yinzer Country, PA
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                    Posted: March 31, 2004, 11:50 am - IP Logged

                    i just checked the website.  someone has come forward, and they will get their prize tomorrow (1. Apr.).

                      Jake649's avatar - scene sunovermountains.jpg

                      Canada
                      Member #2673
                      November 2, 2003
                      497 Posts
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                      Posted: March 31, 2004, 1:52 pm - IP Logged
                      Quote: Originally posted by DoctorEw220 on March 31, 2004


                      i just checked the website.  someone has come forward, and they will get their prize tomorrow (1. Apr.).



                      DoctorEw220,

                      You posted your April fools joke one day too early.

                      Good luck,
                      Jake

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                        Brooklyn
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                        March 31, 2004
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                        Posted: March 31, 2004, 2:22 pm - IP Logged

                        DoctorEw220 - Your right! At first I was wondering which website you were referring to, then, I figured it has to be VA state site.



                        Here it is for those that didn't find it:

                        www.valottery.com

                          Jake649's avatar - scene sunovermountains.jpg

                          Canada
                          Member #2673
                          November 2, 2003
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                          Posted: March 31, 2004, 8:27 pm - IP Logged

                          DoctorEw220,

                          I checked out the VA site. You were right. I stand corrected.

                          Because you did not mention which site, I was suspicious.

                          Good luck,
                          Jake

                            DoctorEw220's avatar - alien helmet.jpg
                            Yinzer Country, PA
                            United States
                            Member #4067
                            March 18, 2004
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                            Posted: March 31, 2004, 8:29 pm - IP Logged

                            there's more than one site?