Maryland Powerball Ticket Wins $731M Jackpot, Winner Might Never Be Known

Posted on: January 21, 2021, 09:17h. 

Last updated on: January 21, 2021, 10:30h.

A lucky Powerball player in Maryland is $731.1 million richer after winning last night’s draw. But thanks to Maryland law, the winner can choose to stay anonymous.

Maryland Powerball jackpot lottery Mega Millions
The Coney Market, seen here in the sleepy little village of Lonaconing in Western Maryland, sold this week’s winning Powerball ticket. The winner of the life-changing jackpot can remain anonymous. (Image: Google)

The winning numbers were 40-53-60-68-69, and the Powerball 22. Only one ticket matched all six numbers.

The Multi-State Lottery Association, which operates Powerball, advertised an estimated jackpot of $730 million for the January 20 draw. But higher than expected ticket sales pushed the jackpot another $1.1 million higher.

The lump-sum cash option — typically what jackpot winners opt for — is approximately $546.8 million. It’s the second-largest cash value for a single winning ticket in US history.

Along with running the Maryland Lottery, Medenica is the director of the Mega Millions Consortium.

For those who didn’t win Wednesday, Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot is an estimated $970 million.

Maryland Anonymity

Wednesday’s winning Powerball ticket was sold at the Coney Market convenience store in Lonaconing, a small, remote town in Allegany County in the Georges Creek Valley.

“We’re really happy for somebody,” Coney Market owner Richard Ravenscroft told the Associated Press. “We don’t know who it is yet.”

We might not ever know. Maryland provides lottery winners with the legal right to remain anonymous.

There are many reasons why you may want to remain anonymous,” says Robert Pagliarini, president of Pacifica Wealth Advisors. Pagliarini advises clients on sudden wealth planning.

“When you have lots of assets, you can become a target for lawsuits, harassment, and requests for money — from family, friends, and often complete strangers.”

Forty-four states have a lottery, but only 11 allow anonymity. One being Maryland.

Powerball Jackpot Breakdown

USA Mega is an online site dedicated to all things lottery, including the financial breakdown of potential jackpot wins.

The person who won Wednesday night won’t actually receive the full $731.1 million annuity or $546.8 million cash payment — not even close.

If the individual takes the $546.8 million lump sum, it will be subjected to a 37 percent federal income tax, which cuts more than $202.2 million from the win. That leaves the winner with $344.5 million. But, of course, the state of Maryland wants its share, too.

Assuming the ticket was sold to a Maryland resident, he or she will need to pay an 8.95 percent state tax on the income, or around $48.9 million. That brings the net one-time lump sum to roughly $295.5 million.

The best tax scenario in the United States for a massive lottery jackpot win would come by way of either California, Florida, New Hampshire, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, or Wyoming. None of those jurisdictions impose a state tax on lottery prizes, meaning the net prize from last night’s win would be $344.5 million.

The worst state to win a major lottery jackpot — if there is such a thing — is New Jersey. The Garden State levies an effective tax of 10.75 percent on lottery prizes. That would have brought Wednesday’s jackpot win down to $285.7 million.