$1 billion Mega Millions jackpot up for grabs this Friday

Trish Hartman Image
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
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Friday's Mega Millions jackpot is up to $1 billion, with an estimated cash value of $602 million if you choose the lump sum option.

BERLIN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- For most of us, a $1 billion prize is almost unimaginable.

"If I won I would leave the country that's for sure," laughed Nate Pleskenko of Atco, New Jersey.

"Maybe investing it for my college, because I'm in college so that would be nice," said nursing student Rocdessa Mensah.

With the Mega Millions jackpot climbing higher and higher, local retailers have been swamped.

SEE ALSO: Despite surge in ticket sales, odds of winning Mega Millions jackpot remains the same

"Friday, oh my God. It was really busy then," said Rina Patel, working the counter at Garden State News in Atco.

At Ollie Gator's Bar and Grill, regulars got their tickets from the vending machine near the bar.

"They definitely put more money in than they normally do. Just hoping for that chance," said owner Tracey Long.

While no one won the jackpot Tuesday night, there were some smaller winners.

A $10,000 ticket was sold at a Shop Rite in West Berlin, and two million dollar tickets were sold in Ocean and Bergen counties.

Friday's jackpot is up to $1 billion, with an estimated cash value of $602 million if you choose the lump sum option.

SEE ALSO: Mega Millions jackpot crosses $1B mark for 3rd time in history

The federal government withholds 24% for taxes, and the state of New Jersey would receive 8%.

According to a financial planner, if you win, don't feel pressure to act right away.

"You don't have to cash your ticket in immediately. Put it in a safe deposit box immediately and then put your team together," said Lisa Crosta, Director of Wealth Management at BPP Wealth Solutions.

Crosta said you'll need a financial planner, an accountant and an attorney to help you. She also said in most cases, the lump sum option is best.

"You can create your own destiny. You can create an annuity from your own lump sum," said Crosta. "You can create an annuity stream with some investments, you can create a gifting stream with some investments. You can do whatever you want."

There is an exception to that: she says if you know you're bad at saving and don't have a lot of self-control, the annuity might be the better option.

In New Jersey you can claim your jackpot and remain anonymous.