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Highest prize in history: Florida $1.58 billion Mega Millions winner has two weeks to claim money

A Mega Millions jackpot winner, who put an end to the mounting prize in Florida four months ago, has two weeks left to claim their $1.58 billion in earnings.

The lucky winner of the Mega Millions jackpot in Florida has until Oct. 7 to claim their prize in a lump sum. Alternatively, they can claim the jackpot as an annuity by a final deadline of Feb. 4, 2024.

The winning Quick Pick ticket was purchased at a Publix grocery store in Neptune Beach, making the lucky person the fourth Mega Millions jackpot winner in Florida.

The winning numbers for the Aug. 8 Mega Millions jackpot were 13, 19, 20, 32, and 33, with the Mega Ball number being 14.

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Lottery winners in Florida must claim their jackpot prize as cash within 60 days of the draw or as an annuity within 180 days.

After all taxes are deducted, the Mega Millions winner will receive $996.5 million over 29 years or a lump sum of $493.5 million.

As Florida doesn't impose state taxes on lottery prizes, the winner only needs to concern themselves with federal taxes. The jackpot ignited lottery fever nationwide, earning the highest prize in the game's history after 31 consecutive rollovers since April 21, 2023.

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If the winner is not ready to claim their prize, they can wait to reveal their name. The winner's identity will be made public eventually. Still, in Florida, the winner can delay the release of their information for up to 90 days after claiming the prize due to partial privacy laws.

How to play Mega Millions

Tickets to Mega Millions cost $2 per play. There are nine total ways to win a prize.

To play, pick five numbers from 1 to 70 and one Mega Ball number from 1 to 25. You can choose Easy Pick or Quick Pick to have the terminal randomly pick numbers for you. You win the jackpot by matching all six winning numbers in the drawing.

What is the Megaplier?

Most states offer the Megaplier feature, which increases nonjackpot prizes by two, three, four and five times.

It costs an additional $1 per play. Before each regular Mega Millions drawing, the Megaplier is drawn. From a pool of 15 balls, five are marked with "2X," three with "4X" and one with "5X."

What is the largest Mega Millions jackpot ever?

Here are the top five Mega Millions jackpots:

  1. $1.58 billion from one winning ticket in Florida in August 2023.

  2. $1.537 billion from one winning ticket in South Carolina in October 2018.

  3. $1.348 billion from one winning ticket in Maine in January 2023.

  4. $1.337 billion from one winning ticket in Illinois in July 2022.

  5. $1.05 billion from one winning ticket in Michigan in January 2021.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Florida lottery winner has two weeks to claim largest Mega Millions jackpot