The upcoming Mega Millions lottery drawing presents an opportunity for players across 45 states and Washington, D.C. to vie for an exceptional grand prize. With an estimated value of around $1.05 billion, this jackpot marks the fourth-largest in the history of the lottery. Scheduled for 11 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, anticipation is high as players eagerly await the results.
Over the past few years, both Mega Millions and Powerball have witnessed an increase in billion-dollar winners. Since 2016, there have been a total of seven winning tickets worth $1 billion or more.
Interestingly, the fortunate individual or group who won the astounding $1.08 billion jackpot in a July Powerball lottery drawing has yet to come forward. One possible reason for this delay could be California's regulations, which mandate that winners reveal their full names.
However, various US states are reevaluating the necessity of such requirements. New York state, for instance, is currently revisiting legislation that would allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. A similar effort was initially passed by state legislators in 2018, only to be vetoed by former Governor Andrew Cuomo. Cuomo believed that disclosing winners' identities was crucial in maintaining accountability for the lottery commission.
Already, eight states permit winners to remain anonymous, including neighboring New Jersey.
As the Mega Millions drawing draws near, participants eagerly await the announcement of the next fortunate individual or group who will take home the extraordinary prize.
Lottery Winners Opt for Anonymity to Protect Their Identities from Cybercrime
Recent trends show that lottery winners in New York state are increasingly opting to shield their identities in limited liability companies in order to safeguard themselves from cybercrime. Eric Jaffe, a renowned lawyer who has assisted over a dozen individuals in claiming their lottery winnings anonymously since 2019, emphasizes that this approach is essential in a time when personal information is susceptible to various online threats.
"You're a target," Jaffe warned during a recent phone interview. "The risk is just too great."
This strategy is particularly prevalent now as lottery jackpots continue to surge. For instance, Mega Millions has exceeded the $1 billion mark twice this year. Furthermore, Powerball, available in 45 states and Washington, D.C., reached a staggering $2 billion before a winning ticket was eventually drawn last November. Prior to 2016, it was unprecedented for multistate lotteries to reach such colossal sums.
The CEO and co-founder of Jackpot.com, Akshay Khanna, explains that the surging frequency of billion-dollar jackpots can be attributed to several recent decisions made by lottery officials. Powerball introduced a third drawing on Mondays and increased the pool of possible numbers, thus reducing a player's odds. Mega Millions also expanded the range of numbers available for drawing and raised the ticket price from $1 to $2.
"The implemented changes successfully impacted the odds of hitting the jackpot and gave prizes a better chance to grow more frequently," Khanna pointed out.
In light of these developments, it's becoming increasingly clear why individuals want to protect their privacy when claiming their lottery rewards. With the rise of cybercrime, safeguarding one's identity is of utmost importance.