Archive for Thursday, January 1, 2004

Single lottery ticket wins $162 million jackpot

January 1, 2004

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— One ticket sold in Ohio won a multistate Mega Millions lottery jackpot worth $162 million, lottery officials said Wednesday.

The ticket for Tuesday's drawing, sold at a convenience store in this Cleveland suburb, was the only one to match all five numbers and the Mega Ball number, said Mardele Cohen, spokeswoman for the Ohio Lottery.

When redeeming the ticket, the winner may choose between an immediate cash payout of $95 million before taxes or $162 million over 26 years. The lump-sum payment would be about $67.9 million after taxes, Cohen said.

Lottery officials were waiting for the winner to come forward, but the ticket holder might be waiting until New Year's Day or after, so the winnings would be counted as income in 2004 rather than 2003.

"Some people who win big jackpots need the time to plan what they're going to do," Cohen added.

Jagdish Shah, owner of Quick Shop Food Mart, where the ticket was sold, learned about the prize when he arrived to open about 7 a.m. Wednesday and his parking lot was full of reporters and television station trucks.

"I saw that, and I was scared. I thought something happened," Shah said. He wins $100,000 and a cruise for selling the ticket, Cohen said.

Powerball, the other big multistate lottery, also has an eye-popping jackpot this week. Wednesday night's drawing was expected to be worth $210 million.

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