Mega Millions jackpot grows to $355 million

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Are you the big winner?

What would you do with a whopping $355 million jackpot?

Tuesday night’s Mega Millions numbers were 15, 47, 4, 25, 8 and Mega Ball 42.

Georgia Lottery officials early Tuesday afternoon boosted the payout by $25 million from earlier estimates due to increased sales.

If there’s a single winner in Tuesday’s game, it will be the largest lottery payout to one person in U.S. history.

If a single player matches all six numbers, that player will win $13.6 million a year, before taxes, for 26 years. Or, if a single winner chooses the cash option, the winner will receive a one-time, pre-tax payout of approximately $224 million.

The jackpot is the third largest in Georgia Lottery history, and the second biggest Mega Millions jackpot.

Lottery winners must pay state and federal taxes. the federal tax on large lottery winnings is at least 25 percent. State taxes vary; Georgians pay 6 percent.

Most large lottery winnings have been split up among several winners. Here’s a look at the biggest jackpots.

* the largest jackpot ever was a Mega Millions ticket drawn March 6, 2007. two tickets holders split $390 million, including one winner from Georgia. Both winners chose to receive a cash payment of $116 million.

* the largest Powerball jackpot was split in 2006 by eight Nebraska meat packers who split $365 million. the cash option was worth $177 million, the second largest prize in U.S. history.

* in 2005 a group called “The Lucky 7″ held the single ticket winning the $315 million Mega Millions drawing. Their lump sum prize was $175 million. this is the largest prize won by a single ticket in Mega Millions.

* a West Virginia man won $314.9 million in 2002 with a Powerball ticket. His prize was $170 million.

* a Massachusetts woman was the sole winner of a 2004 Mega Millions worth $294 million. she pocketed $168 million.

* in 2008, Robert and Tayne Harris of Portal, Ga., claimed the $275 million Mega Millions jackpot. They split $167 million.

Mega Millions jackpot grows to $355 million

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