Will we ever know who won the record-setting $747M Powerball jackpot in Washington?
(NEXSTAR) – Within a week of each other, the winners of two of the largest lottery prizes in U.S. history claimed their payouts. First, it was the California winner of the largest-ever prize, a $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot won in November. Then on Wednesday, it was the anonymous winner of a $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot won by a ticket sold in Maine last month.
Now, there’s just one record-setting lottery prize won in the last few months that remains unclaimed.
Since last summer, the U.S. has seen four record-setting lottery jackpots – a $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot from Illinois in July, the $2.04 billion Powerball win in November, the $1.35 billion Mega Millions jackpot last month, and a $747 million jackpot won by a ticket in Washington state earlier this month.
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Lottery officials have yet to announce a winner for the latest jackpot.
If it is ever claimed – a winner has 180 days to come forward in Washington, meaning they still have roughly 160 days yet – we could know the name of the winner.
Because the lottery is a state agency, its documents are subject to the Public Records Act, which could reveal the name of the winner, even if a legally formed entity (like a trust) claims the prize.
According to state law, the name and city of the winner of a Mega Millions jackpot prize, or the second-tier prize, is announced at a news conference or in a press release. The winner may also be asked to participate in the news conference.
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Earlier this month, we learned the name of the $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot winner thanks to California rules which do not let a winner remain anonymous. Disclosure laws require the state’s lottery to share the winner’s full name and where they purchased the ticket, but the winner doesn’t have to be present at the press conference (the winner of this jackpot opted against appearing publicly).
The winners of the jackpots won in Maine and Illinois, however, did get to remain anonymous.
Both states are among the few that will allow winners to have their names withheld in all or some cases. If you win any lottery games, be sure to check with your jurisdiction’s lottery office to determine whether you can remain anonymous.
If the Powerball jackpot in Washington were to remain unclaimed, participating lotteries will receive their portion of the prize’s cash value built by their ticket sales, according to the game’s website. Jurisdictions then distribute the funds based on local rules or laws.