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Tax coffers have a lot to gain if an Ohioan wins Friday's big Mega Millions jackpot

Jo Ingles

The Mega Millions Jackpot is rising. It’s now more than $1.1 billion for Thursday night’s drawing. And lottery officials said that’s the second largest jackpot in the game’s history.

From Saturday to Tuesday, Ohio sold more than $13 million worth of Mega Millions tickets, according to the Ohio Lottery’s Danielle Frizzi-Babb. And the jackpot continues to increase as sales remain brisk. Right now, the winner of the jackpot could take a cash option worth $648.2 million.

“There are taxes of course, don’t forget about that,” Frizzi-Babb said. “Anytime you claim any Ohio Lottery prize, there are taxes involved. But $648 million, even after you pay the taxes, I think you can deal with that, right?”

Frizzi-Babb said those taxes are significant, and if an Ohioan wins the jackpot, the state will get a tax boost too.

"Four percent state tax on that cash option prize is $24 million. So if somebody wins big here, the state also wins too," Frizzi-Babb said.

That’s on top of the profits which go toward education in Ohio, Frizzi-Babb added. Earlier this month, the Ohio Lottery transferred a record $1.4 billion in profits to the Lottery Profits Education fund that supports K-12 education.

The Ohio Lottery has been recording record sales with $5.6 billion over the past year, beating the previous fiscal year sales by $112 million.

There were nine winners Tuesday who came close to taking home the jackpot. And two of them were from Ohio. According to Mega Millions, nine tickets matched the first five numbers but didn't match the Mega Ball. The game's Megaplier feature was purchased for one of those tickets, raising its prize to $3 million. The rest of the winners got $1 million.

That $3,000,000 winning ticket was sold at a BellStore in St. Clairsville. Hirsch's Marathon on West Bagley Road in Berea sold one of the $1,000,000 winning tickets. The winning numbers for Tuesday's drawing were 7, 9, 60, 63, 66 and the Mega Ball was 15.

Of course, the chance of winning that big lottery jackpot is small. There is a 1 in 302,575,350 chance of winning it all in the Mega Millions Friday.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.