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Mega Millions: How long to recieve jackpot?

Topic closed. 14 replies. Last post 8 years ago by Stack47.

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New Member
New Jersey
United States
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March 1, 2007
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Posted: March 1, 2007, 2:34 pm - IP Logged

Hi there, I am a new member and here is my first post, and look at that I'm posting it in the correct place so please go easy on me.

I am a casual Mega Million's player, I know that the odds are against me, so I never depend on winning. After all it isn't easy to get Fate, Luck and Chance too all smile at you at the same exact time. However, I figure if I'm going to play the game I might as well be prepared for even the smallest chance of winning. I've read the horror stories, I get the general idea of what to do and what not to do. The part I am always stuck on is that portion of time between discovering you won, and actually acquiring the winnings.

Neither the Mega Million's official site, nor New Jersey's lottery site will get into the specifics. The most I can glean from my state's site is that it takes three weeks to get a check from them. But is that three weeks from any time you come forward, or might it be like the PowerBall's FAQ says; that if you wait for the winning state to collect the money from the other states before you come forward that you can get it quicker?

If they would just go into detail about this it would help those rare lucky winners better prepare how they go about coming forward.

About the dog and pony show they do for the media, the big check ceremony, do they do that when you actually get your winnings or is there a gap of days or weeks between that and your actual access to the winnings? Oh, and is your name let out when you get your ticket validated or do they actually extend the courtesy to wait until the ceremony before that? I don't mind the media thing, I know that is part of winning. The thing I'd like to avoid is unnecessary waiting around town while everyone knows you won but you don't even have the money yet so you havn't the means to take that much recommended vacation to escape the vultures that begin circling about you.

Another thing, my state's FAQ is a little sketchy about this, but if you were a jackpot winner, they don't really expect you to take that ticket to any random state retailer to validate it do they? I would figure and hope that they'd have a means to validate the ticket right there at the state's lottery headquarters. "Hey look I won the lottery." *snatch* "No genius, looks like I did!"

I've searched Google off and on for answers to these questions but never had much luck, I've even spent a bit of time searching this forum for similar topics, but with little luck, so I've registered to this fine community in hopes that someone might shed some light on these questions, or perhaps point me to an article or thread that does.

Thank you for your time,

--Racso

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    Greenwich, CT
    United States
    Member #4793
    May 24, 2004
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    Posted: March 1, 2007, 3:39 pm - IP Logged

    Hi Racso,

    Welcome to Lotterypost!  I like how phrased it - "Fate, Luck and Chance" all have to smile at the same time...how true.

    You can take the ticket directly to headquarters to have it validated, no need to stop at the local store.

    You've got a bunch of questions, I'm sure that we'll have some more answers for you in no time!

      tnlotto1's avatar - logo
      nashville
      United States
      Member #49896
      February 18, 2007
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      Posted: March 1, 2007, 3:49 pm - IP Logged

      im also anxious to hear the answers to the original questions because i have always wondered if you need to get an advance on money from your bank or a lawyer so you can afford to hide out of town until the lottery wires the money into your account.

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        California
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        Member #46824
        October 1, 2006
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        Posted: March 1, 2007, 4:20 pm - IP Logged

        Rasco...here are answers to a few of your questions.  Note this is from observations of jackpot winners, unfortunately not a participant, yet at least.

         As far as when the press conference is held, my thought is as soon as possible (within days) after the lottery has verfied your ticket.  This verification can be the same or next day that you bring the ticket to the lottery.  The lottery wants to get the word out as quickly as possible about winners. 

        As far as when you get the money that varies by state.  Most likely you have to wait for the state to get funds from the other states in the game.  California says in a winners manual that a check will be available within  6 weeks.  Now you bring an interesting question to bear, say if one took 4 weeks to come forward, does that mean the check will be waiting in two weeks?  Which state(s) keeps the money before the winner comes forward, the winning state (and they get the interest) or is the money kept in each state's control so the state that produced the money gets the interest?  This I do not know.

        So it looks like, most likely, you will have to wait around town while the lottery gets the money to fund your check, at least for a short time.  While you might not have the means now to take that vacation to a place far off, I am certain there would be a bank or two or three more then willing to loan you enough to get away, just based on your signature.  After all in a few weeks you will be good for it many times over! 

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          New Jersey
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          Posted: March 1, 2007, 5:01 pm - IP Logged

          Thank you JAG331, and CA LotteryGuy.

          I guess there is no avoiding a little inconvenience if you are going to be a jackpot winner, at least it will have been worth it once it is officially yours.

          --Racso

            justxploring's avatar - villiarna
            Wandering Aimlessly
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            November 5, 2005
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            Posted: March 1, 2007, 5:41 pm - IP Logged

            There are many threads on several of these subjects, especially anonymity, so you might want to use the search feature on Lottery Post.

            As the other members already wrote, every state has different rules.  If you are not in one of those that protect your right to remain anonymous, the "dog and pony show" you mentioned is usually part of the deal. 

            Like you, I never expect to win, but I always hope I will.  I don't currently play MM or PB, but the process is still pretty much the same for state jackpot games, meaning that you should probably contact an attorney as soon as possible, once you've discovered you're a big winner.  Then you can decide how to claim your prize and where to deposit it.  My plan is to quietly move away just before I drive to Tallahassee.  In Florida they will run a criminal background check and also a credit check to see if the winner owes the state money (such as property taxes, unpaid traffic tickets, child support) but then the jackpot is paid pretty quickly. 

            Good luck!

              TheGameGrl's avatar - necros
              Pennsylvania
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              Posted: March 1, 2007, 7:35 pm - IP Logged

              Consider the norm to be six weeks from the date in which you claim.

              It will take a good healthy 10 days of banking clearence just to get the money funnelled thru. (thats two weeks right there!).

              Then another 7 to ten business days for YOUR bank to hold the funds for clearance. You see each state has to contribute to the main jackpot fund, and this is all done at a snails pace! ( Who'd want to fork over money quickly when it can gain interest in a months time!)

              So there goes another two weeks.

              Add in the background check for: criminal, child support/spousal support/back taxes or not contributing to your local girlscouts and you get the picture!Another week has passed...

              Most folks just  "assume " they get a gratuitous check to ride out the few weeks from the BIG claim but this isnt so. You pay for your accountant, your lawyer, your limo (if you so choose to have such ) Upfront BEFORE the check is even cut.  They dont run on IOU's whether you have a HUGE amount coming to ya or not.

              As to hiding out...thats just silly! Simply go volunteer somewhere...no one would suspect a lottery winner to be a do gooder....!  I personally plan to deliver hot meals to the shut-ins when I win the upcoming Megaball jackpot. So if ya want a hot meal and see a little ole lady delivering it to your door, it just might be me!

              ________________________________

              Signature quote-If I'd agree with you , we'd both be wrong.

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                New Jersey
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                Posted: March 4, 2007, 9:29 am - IP Logged

                Thanks for the input everyone.

                TheGameGrl, that makes all too much sense. I suppose if you are going to win a large sum that they'd want you to earn it through a month of inconvenience. I never assumed there'd be some kind of check before getting the funds, and the idea that a bank would give you a loan so you could afford a lawyar based on the fact that you are a winner really makes no sense to me. Sure a bank would love to play host to that money, but I can't imagine any bank giving you anything against something you don't technically have yet. I doubt also there are any lawyers who take IOUs.

                I'm sure everyone figures that a large win would be worth any manner of inconvenience, I guess I agree too. ;p

                Thanks again,

                --Racso

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                  Greenwich, CT
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                  Posted: March 4, 2007, 10:01 am - IP Logged

                  You're welcome.

                  I have to disagree on the bank.  I'm sure many banks would clamber over each other to gain your favor when it comes time to deposit some of those mega funds.

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                    Posted: March 4, 2007, 10:51 am - IP Logged

                    I'm sure it takes at least 2 weeks for the money to be fully deposited in the bank of your choice.  However I remember reading that when Jack Whittaker claimed his jackpot he got something like $10million upfront.  Anyways I think the news conference timing is up to you, but with the size of this jackpot it's inevitable so might as well get it over with.  As far as verifying the ticket do so at the lottery HQ.  Also it might be a good idea to make a photocopy of the winner(to brag with at lottopost of course! LOL)  It's probably a good idea to get the media interviews out of the way newspaper interviews, the today show, ect.  Then disspear.

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                      California
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                      Posted: March 4, 2007, 12:26 pm - IP Logged

                      Thanks for the input everyone.

                      TheGameGrl, that makes all too much sense. I suppose if you are going to win a large sum that they'd want you to earn it through a month of inconvenience. I never assumed there'd be some kind of check before getting the funds, and the idea that a bank would give you a loan so you could afford a lawyar based on the fact that you are a winner really makes no sense to me. Sure a bank would love to play host to that money, but I can't imagine any bank giving you anything against something you don't technically have yet. I doubt also there are any lawyers who take IOUs.

                      I'm sure everyone figures that a large win would be worth any manner of inconvenience, I guess I agree too. ;p

                      Thanks again,

                      --Racso

                      Racso...for what it is worth I think banks would be more then willing to accomodate your request if you wanted to get some "waiting for the big check to clear money".  If a bank would see some sort of proof that you are the winner they would feel comfortable that you will have the neccessary funds in a few weeks to pay them back. 

                      It would probably go as an unsecured loan at a fairly high interest rate.  But at that point what do you care about the interest rate on what will be a short term loan.  Also the bank knows they will be able will track you down and get thier money should you decide not to pay.  All in all this would be an excellent risk for a bank to take and I am fairly certain you would be able to get upwards of $250,000 on just your signature and solid proof you are indeed the jackpot winner.

                        dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

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                        Posted: March 4, 2007, 1:51 pm - IP Logged

                        The average is 60-90 days assuming no one sues for a part or all of the money. This is the average that I've seen in newspaper stories about winners. Depends on the state. As far as banks are conserned they would just do direct deposit so banks don't have to wonder if you have the money or not. The smart thing would be to have the money in various trusts and not just a checking/savings account under your name.

                          starchild_45's avatar - spherewall2
                          kent, washington
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                          Posted: March 4, 2007, 2:04 pm - IP Logged

                          I'm sure it takes at least 2 weeks for the money to be fully deposited in the bank of your choice.  However I remember reading that when Jack Whittaker claimed his jackpot he got something like $10million upfront.  Anyways I think the news conference timing is up to you, but with the size of this jackpot it's inevitable so might as well get it over with.  As far as verifying the ticket do so at the lottery HQ.  Also it might be a good idea to make a photocopy of the winner(to brag with at lottopost of course! LOL)  It's probably a good idea to get the media interviews out of the way newspaper interviews, the today show, ect.  Then disspear.

                          you are right about jack getting the 10 million up front. most states after check for validity of your claim and back taxes you owe will give you some of the money they collected. in west virginia case they collected over 10 million on powerball sales. they gave jack 10 million while the reconciled the full amount that they collected and while they waited on the monies from the other powerball states.

                          even if you don't collect any money right away and you are collecting a large pot. your financial aid people/lawyers will front you some money until you get your winnings and promplty get their money back with interest. i read stories of winners doing that to get money and to escape the media glare while they waited for the full amount of money to come in to their office.

                            LuckyLilly's avatar - savy chick.png

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                            Posted: March 4, 2007, 2:34 pm - IP Logged

                            Every month when I'm deciding how much $$$ to put into my savings account, I talk myself into putting a little more in by thinking about how much I'll need to pay the attorney, investment attorney, move, etc. when I win the Powerball.  Green laugh I want to make sure I have enough $$$ saved to do it right and not be scrambling.

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                              Kentucky
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                              Posted: March 4, 2007, 3:11 pm - IP Logged

                              Justx said: In Florida they will run a criminal background check and also a credit check to see if the winner owes the state money (such as property taxes, unpaid traffic tickets, child support) but then the jackpot is paid pretty quickly. 

                              That makes sense because that is part of state Lottery codes but if a person was there to claim their winnings when the office opened, all that information could be gathered before lunch time. However unless it's part of the state lottery code, they are not required to inform me that the guy owing me $1000 just won a multi-million dollar jackpot.

                              I've read lots of excuses why it should take up to 6 weeks before a jackpot winner could get their money, but I haven't seen one logical reason why the money couldn't be directly deposited into the winner's account within a week or at the most 10 business days. Maybe it's just a coincidence that it takes exactly 6 weeks for a $10,000 winner to get their money too.

                              And people wonder why jackpot winners need to hire a lawyer and want to remain anonymous.