Hoosier Lottery helps family remain anonymous
First time they ever played Mega Millions
Includes video report
By Todd Northrop
At a press conference Friday it was announced that a family of lifetime Hoosiers anonymously claimed the largest jackpot ever awarded to a single Mega Millions lottery ticket.
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosted the press conference Friday morning.
The winners were announced to be a family from Hamilton County, Indiana. Those hoping to meet the winners would have been disappointed, as the prize was claimed under a limited liability company (LLC) the family created in order to stay anonymous.
Although the public did not learn the identities of the winning family, we did discover the final tally of the July 8 Mega Millions jackpot: $536 million.
The family, represented by an Indiana marketing company at the press conference, claimed the mammoth prize as a lump-sum cash payout, which totalled $378 million — reduced to $271 million after the initial federal and state taxes were withheld.
Because the initial federal tax withholdings are 25%, it is likely the family will owe some additional taxes at the end of the year.
The July 8 drawing was the first time the winning family ever played Mega Millions. Previously they had played Powerball a few times.
On their way out of town with their two school-age kids for a sporting event, the family stopped at a Speedway gas station along Interstate 70. Seeing the big Mega Millions jackpot, they decided to buy five quick pick tickets.
But it was not until days later when they returned home that they remembered to check the tickets, which were mixed up with some random receipts and wrappers accumulated in their travels.
When the family looked online at the winning numbers and saw they matched up on their ticket, they were in disbelief. So much that they closed and re-opened their web browser: the numbers still matched.
Incredulous, they then rebooted the computer and re-opened the website: the numbers still matched.
Not knowing what else to do, the family went to the Hoosier Lottery headquarters and met with lottery officials, who confirmed the winning ticket and offered some advice around planning their prize claim.
Lauren Littlefield, Director of Client Services for Willow Marketing, was chosen by the family to represent them in public. Littlefield was present at the Friday morning press conference, answering a few questions, and providing some insight into the family.
When first describing the family, Littlefield started to become emotional, which she later said was because she had become close with the family and they were lovely people with "Hoosier values". She continued that she was genuinely excited for the family, whom were all born and raised in Indiana, and plan to stay in the state for life.
Littlefield said the winners have no immediate plans for the money, other than ensuring the well being of their children. They don't have any plans to quit their jobs, and want to do everything possible to stay close to the people in their lives who know and care for them.
The full raw press conference video can be found below.
The July 8 Mega Millions jackpot, which was initially estimated at $540 million, was adjusted to $536 million after all proceeds were counted. The prize was the result of a record 34 consecutive Mega Millions drawings without a winner.
Currently, the July 8 Mega Millions jackpot stands as the 7th-largest jackpot in US lottery history, and the third-largest Mega Millions jackpot ever.
The winning numbers drawn that evening were 8, 19, 20, 55, and 73, with Mega Ball number 5. The Megaplier was 2.
The odds to win the Mega Millions jackpot were 1 in 258.9 million.
Mega Millions is currently offered for sale in 44 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 pm Eastern Time. Tickets cost $1 each.
The Mega Millions winning numbers are published at USA Mega (www.usamega.com) minutes after the drawing takes place.
VIDEO: Watch the press conference