New Jersey Mega Millions Winner Claims $202 Million Jackpot

Thursday October 1st 2020

A lucky lottery player in New Jersey has claimed a $202 million Mega Millions jackpot won in February. The Garden State ticket holder was the sole winner of the prize with a $142.2 million cash value.

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The player has chosen to stay anonymous, an option for New Jersey Lottery winners after a new state law came into effect in January 2020 - just a month before the winner hit it big. Under the new law, the winner was able to keep their identity private when claiming their prize and did not receive publicity. Before the law was passed, a winner's name, town, and county were released.

The amazing win was the first time the Mega Millions jackpot was hit in 2020. It had been rolling since December 17, 2019, when a ticket in Ohio won $375 million. That winner also opted to remain anonymous and claimed via The Great Hope Trust.

The New Jersey player purchased the winning ticket at the Quick Stop Food Store, 940 Inman Ave. in Edison, Middlesex County. The ticket matched all six numbers in the Tuesday, February 11, 2020 draw: 4, 6, 32, 52, 64 and the gold Mega Ball 6.

It's been a very lucky year for Middlesex County lottery players, who have scooped two major prizes so far in 2020! A $190 million Powerball jackpot-winning ticket was sold at Buy-rite Liquor Piscataway at 1353 Stelton Rd., Piscataway for the April 8 draw. The prize is still unclaimed.

Shocked Mega Millions Winner Took Notes

The state's newest Mega Millions winner revealed to New Jersey Lottery officials how their life-changing windfall came about.

The day after the draw, the Lottery announced that the previous night's jackpot-winning ticket had been sold in the Garden State. The player saw the news on Facebook and went to get their ticket from their car.

After checking their numbers, the winner was overwhelmed by their good fortune, but was able to pull themselves together and go back to work as they collected their thoughts and planned for the future.

Later that day, New Jersey Lottery Executive Director James Carey visited the Quick Stop Food Store and presented a $30,000 bonus commission check to owner Apexaben Patel and his family for selling the winning ticket.

Carey also offered words of advice to the newly-minted winner. "We always tell people when you win – sign the back of that ticket right away," he said. "Then put it in a safe place, talk to an attorney, talk to a financial advisor, and come to us and claim that ticket."

Carey didn't know it, but the winner, still feeling shocked by the life-changing event, was listening intently to the press conference and taking notes to determine what to do next.

The player then wasted no time signing the ticket and seeing a lawyer to assist in planning for how to handle the huge windfall they were about to receive.

The ticket holder then patiently waited more than seven months to step forward and claim their incredible win. The deadline to claim a lottery prize in New Jersey is one year from the winning draw date. After that, the ticket is no longer valid and the prize expires.

Three Years, Three New Jersey Mega Millions Jackpots

The February win is the third time in as many years that a Garden State player has won the Mega Millions grand prize.

New Jersey's biggest lottery winner is Richard Wahl. The Vernon man hit a $533 million prize on March 30, 2018 and took the $324.6 million cash option. Wahl said he intended to do charitable work; in 2019, he purchased a hurricane-damaged resort in Florida, where he now lives.

Last year, there was another big Jersey winner in March when Michael Weirsky hit a $273 million Mega Millions jackpot on March 1, 2019. The Alpha resident had a very close call when he left the winning ticket behind on the store counter, but his luck hadn't run out - the retailer kept the ticket safe until he came back for it.

For more exciting Garden State wins, check out the top 10 biggest NJ jackpots.

Weekend Jackpots Roll to $84 Million

If you want to end the week on a high note, how does winning $41 million sound? Your chance to score this incredible Mega Millions prize is Friday, October 2.

Keep the good times rolling this weekend - $43 million is up for grabs in the Saturday, October 3 Powerball draw.

Tickets for both games are available now.

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