tampa (WFLA) – The largest Mega Millions jackpot ever has been claimed — a $1.602 billion prize taken by a single ticket sold in Florida four months ago — but we still don't know exactly who the winner is.
Florida is one of a number of states that withholds, at least temporarily, the names of major lottery jackpot winners. After 90 days, the winner's name is no longer a secret in Florida.
As of Christmas, the Florida Lottery was legally permitted to release the name of the winner of a record-setting Mega Millions jackpot.
Lottery officials confirmed the identity of the winner on Wednesday: an entity called Saltines Holdings, LLC, which decided to receive a one-time cash lump sum of $794,248,882.
An LLC is a business structure in the United States that protects its owners from personal liability for its debts or obligations. By claiming the prize using an LLC, the ticket winner cleverly avoided having to reveal his or her identity.
In Florida, where the ticket was claimed, the name of the owner of the LLC is a matter of public record. However, in this case, the grand prize winner filed an LLC in Delaware, a state where the owner of the LLC is not public.
It is not uncommon for winners to claim their prizes through an LLC or trust. This year alone, two other Mega Millions prizes were claimed by LLCs, three of which were claimed through a trust. Doing so allows winners the opportunity to remain anonymous.
The Mega Millions jackpot currently stands at $92 million after two tickets in California – Sold at the same gas station – He won the jackpot in early December.
Mega Millions tickets cost $2 per game and are sold in 45 states, plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are held every Tuesday and Friday at 11pm ET.
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