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Confusion reigns over whether the $66m Mega Millions Jackpot winner has claimed their prize

The mystery over who purchased a $66 million Jackpot winning ticket in Mount Clemens, Michigan, for the June 13th Mega Millions draw continues. But despite lottery officials refusing to confirm if anyone has claimed their prize, the owner of the shop that sold the ticket believes that’s not the case.

Sonny Tarhini owns Sonny’s Mart in Mount Clemens and he says that he has been told that a winner has come forward, albeit not publicly. His comments haven’t exactly helped solve the mystery though, as one group of people told him a man won the prize, while another said the winner was female.

What can be confirmed is that Sonny’s Mart will receive $50,000 for selling the winning Mega Millions ticket. He says that he is “excited” and “happy” that the ticket will be claimed adding “I’m glad nobody lost it.”

Michigan lottery spokesman Jeff Holyfield has refused to comment on whether anyone has come forward to claim the prize. Speaking on Wednesday (9th July) he said that lottery staff are “anticipating seeing that person coming forward and telling us his or her story, or perhaps it’s a lottery club.”

It’s not uncommon for winners to take their time claiming their prize, especially one this large. Holyfield believes some winners prefer to wait and receive advice from an attorney and a financial planner before coming forward. He recalled one winner who waited until the last available day to claim a prize of around $250,000, while a man who won $1m on a Friday claimed his prize the following Monday.

One important decision the winner has to take is how they’ll receive their winnings. They can either accept the $66m as a thirty-year annuity or take a one-off lump sum payment. The latter choice would see a payment of $37.9m which would then be subject to taxes.

The winner has a year to collect the money. If it goes unclaimed then the winnings will go to the school aid fund. The largest uncollected jackpot prize in Michigan was $34m in 1997. Last year a total of $32m in winnings went unclaimed, around 2% of winnings for the year.

Purchase your Mega Millions lottery tickets online at Lottery24.com and you will be informed in writing of all your winnings.