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Lottery winners question Calif. Mega Millions prizes

Mega MillionsMega Millions: Lottery winners question Calif. Mega Millions prizes

Marjorie Givens thought she hit the jackpot last month when she realized her Mega Millions ticket was worth $250,000. She matched five numbers but missed the Mega Ball.

Her second-prize payout was half that of a California resident who played the same five numbers - 27, 36, 43, 49 and 54 - and also missed the Mega Ball on the same night in the same drawing. That person took home $503,851 before taxes.

"I thought it was one lottery, equal for everybody," said Givens, of Stark County.

But the California laws that govern lottery games are different from the 11 other states in Mega Millions.

Still, the prize came two days after she turned 75, and she thought it was a nice birthday present.

"What can you do? It's the way the laws are," Givens said.

She said she had heard that the California player took home a lot more money than her and Justin Fazenbaker, of Toledo, who played the same numbers on Feb. 14 and also won Ohio's $250,000 prize for a second-place Mega Millions ticket.

California law limits lottery games to pari-mutuel prizes, meaning the amount won differs based on the number of tickets sold, said Marie Kilbane, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Lottery.

Other states have equal, flat-rate prizes for tickets that match only some of the numbers, Kilbane said.

"The only exception is California."

She said Ohio sales do not affect prize amounts in California, with the exception of the grand prize. On Tuesday, a ticket for a $265 million grand prize was sold in Cincinnati, but the winner has yet to claim it.

Only the grand prize is divided using a pari-mutuel system in all 11 states that have Mega Millions.

"With the jackpot, each state, based on sales, has to give money toward the payment of the jackpot," Kilbane said.

John Mascari plays Mega Millions when the grand prize tops $200 million. He said it doesn't seem fair that Californians can win more money for the same risk.

"It just rubs me wrong to think that different players have different rules," he said. "They should all play by the same rules."

During the past three months, however, California winners have taken home less, on average, than their Ohio counterparts. Since Feb. 3, there have been 45 secondprize Mega Millions winners in California and 18 in Ohio. On average, the California winners won $205,755.

Tuesday's drawing ended a string of four straight games in which California winners took home less than winners in other states.

On that night, 21 players from California, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington owned tickets that matched five numbers but missed the Mega Ball.

Nineteen of those winners will claim a prize of $250,000. The California winners, though, will claim $348,325 before taxes, a payout nearly 40 percent higher than their counterparts.

On Feb. 10, just four days before Givens won her prize, two California winners took home $693,599 each for tickets identical to ones played by residents in five other states who claimed $250,000 each.

Givens isn't too upset. At first, she thought she had matched just three numbers, which would have given her a $7 prize. When her son told her she had matched five numbers and won $250,000, she didn't believe him.

"I said, 'Quit fibbing,' " she recalled.

Her son was telling the truth. After taxes, Givens walked away with $178,750.

Officials with the California Lottery could not be reached for comment.

Columbus Dispatch

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24 comments. Last comment 11 years ago by CASH Only.
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United States
Member #6676
September 3, 2004
95 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 25, 2006, 7:27 am - IP Logged

comeon granny!! be happy!!! lol

 

tonight's my night...I feel it in ma bones Party

--winner2b

    Avatar
    Coastal Georgia
    United States
    Member #2653
    October 30, 2003
    1866 Posts
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    Posted: April 25, 2006, 9:16 am - IP Logged

    Cry me a river ...Crying

    $250,000 would make me happy !!!!

    DD

     

                                   

                  

     

     

      SassyOhio's avatar - Picture012
      Columbus Ohio
      United States
      Member #35946
      March 25, 2006
      234 Posts
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      Posted: April 25, 2006, 9:43 am - IP Logged

      I agree that yes  ... I would not complain about taking home $178,750 , But I do see the point. It isnt fair when it comes down to it that there is such a difference regardless of what state has more players or not. I think that it should be the same all over, but again I WOULD NOT COMPLAIN. Hell I just said this morning give me 100 thou  and I would be smiling from ear to ear lol. But like the article said  ... what can ya do .. NADDA  Good Luck tonight  on the MM 

      Hopin To Be The Lucky Ones!!

      COME ON MEGA! MEGA-ME-RICH!

       

      Please feel free to visit my sisters memorial page that I have now completed

      www.freewebs.com/wendyinmyheartforever

        RJOh's avatar - chipmunk
        mid-Ohio
        United States
        Member #9
        March 24, 2001
        19831 Posts
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        Posted: April 25, 2006, 9:48 am - IP Logged

        "John Mascari plays Mega Millions when the grand prize tops $200 million. He said it doesn't seem fair that Californians can win more money for the same risk."

        Californians probably feel the same way when ever they end up winning less. Mad

         

         * you don't need to buy more tickets, just buy a winning ticket * 
           
                     Evil Looking       

          Avatar

          United States
          Member #972
          December 30, 2002
          465 Posts
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          Posted: April 25, 2006, 10:42 am - IP Logged

          >During the past three months, however, California winners have taken home less, on average, than their Ohio counterparts. Since Feb. 3, there have been 45 secondprize Mega Millions winners in California and 18 in Ohio. On average, the California winners won $205,755. 

          Wow, that really rubs me the wrong way. Sometimes pari-mutuel winners win more than $250K, sometimes they win less. That's the risk of pari-mutuel.

          >"I thought it was one lottery, equal for everybody," said Givens, of Stark County.

          Yes, if you win the jackpot and if state taxes are the same everywhere. Next she can complain that some states have no state taxes on lottery winnings, which I'm sure also rubs her the wrong way. 

           

            fja's avatar - gnome1

            United States
            Member #91
            January 19, 2002
            11936 Posts
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            Posted: April 25, 2006, 11:54 am - IP Logged

            MEGA MILLIONS APRIL 11 DRAWING

            There were 17 second-prize winners from Tuesday night's drawing: 6 from California, 3 from Georgia, 2 from Illinois, 1 from Maryland, 3 from New York, 1 from Ohio, and 1 from Washington.  Each ticket matched all five lotto numbers but not the Mega Ball number to win $250,000 each.  The California second prize winners will receive $68,647 each, because California does not use the fixed prize amounts used by the other Mega Millions states.

            I DON'T THINK SHE WOULD OF MINDED TO MUCH IF IT TURNED OUT THIS WAY

              Lurk More N00b's avatar - ummm
              USA
              United States
              Member #3312
              January 10, 2004
              35 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: April 25, 2006, 12:18 pm - IP Logged

              "John Mascari plays Mega Millions when the grand prize tops $200 million. He said it doesn't seem fair that Californians can win more money for the same risk."

              Californians probably feel the same way when ever they end up winning less. Mad

               

              Don't admit to only being an opportune jackpot player and things not being fair within the same breath, John.

                dvdiva's avatar - 8ball

                United States
                Member #2338
                September 17, 2003
                2063 Posts
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                Posted: April 25, 2006, 1:52 pm - IP Logged

                "quit fibbing" on the prizes? Good luck with that. Maybe if jackpots were listed as their post-tax cash amounts there would be less confusion but that's less likely than winning MegaMillions. Only way that would happen is if someone wins a law suit but  the bond companies issuing inflated annuities have far more money and power than those wishing to fight them.

                  bellyache's avatar - 64x64a9wg

                  United States
                  Member #12618
                  March 18, 2005
                  2060 Posts
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                  Posted: April 25, 2006, 1:56 pm - IP Logged

                  I wouldn't complain about $178,750. That still is a nice amount of money.

                  Dance like no one is watching.

                    SassyOhio's avatar - Picture012
                    Columbus Ohio
                    United States
                    Member #35946
                    March 25, 2006
                    234 Posts
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                    Posted: April 25, 2006, 2:52 pm - IP Logged

                    I wouldn't complain about $178,750. That still is a nice amount of money.

                    I dont think that any of us would ... I just think that people are venting about the MISS leading information and the  DOUBLE STANDARDS that come along with it

                    Hopin To Be The Lucky Ones!!

                    COME ON MEGA! MEGA-ME-RICH!

                     

                    Please feel free to visit my sisters memorial page that I have now completed

                    www.freewebs.com/wendyinmyheartforever


                      United States
                      Member #16612
                      June 2, 2005
                      3493 Posts
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                      Posted: April 25, 2006, 3:20 pm - IP Logged

                      Did the grandmother play in CA? If so, I think she should have claimed it in CA for more money. Either way, congratulations to her for winning lots of money matching 5/5.


                        United States
                        Member #379
                        June 5, 2002
                        11296 Posts
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                        Posted: April 25, 2006, 3:59 pm - IP Logged

                        The CA payouts are not the only thing about MM that's not the same in all 12 states. Texas has the Megaplier, and of course NY and Texas (if not also NJ) require the cash/annuity choice when you PLAY.

                          Avatar
                          NY
                          United States
                          Member #23835
                          October 16, 2005
                          3475 Posts
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                          Posted: April 25, 2006, 6:00 pm - IP Logged

                          I wouldn't complain about $178,750. That still is a nice amount of money.

                          I dont think that any of us would ... I just think that people are venting about the MISS leading information and the  DOUBLE STANDARDS that come along with it

                          What misleading information? The California lottery website says that all prizes are paid on a parimutuel basis, the websites for the other MM states tell you exactly how much you'll get for any given prize level, and the rules stay the same every week. It doesn't take much more effort to find out that only the jackpot is a multi-state game, and that all of the lower prizes are handled strictly within the individual states. Not getting $265 million when that's what was advertised is misleading. Getting exactly what the rules said you'd get isn't.

                            Avatar
                            Huntsville AL
                            United States
                            Member #16531
                            June 1, 2005
                            65 Posts
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                            Posted: April 26, 2006, 12:33 pm - IP Logged

                            This raises an interesting question.  Do the individual states pay the lower prizes out of their intake with no sharing of proceeds?  And proceeds are olny shared on the jackpot?  They probably have to send a certain amount of each ticket to Mega HQ to cover Jackpot.