THE winner of the biggest jackpot in New Jersey Lottery history ended up taking home just $696,440.
Imagine finding out you won $2,089,320 on the lottery, only to find out that you have to split the amount with two other people.
That’s what happened to three lucky players in New Jersey.
You played the Jersey Cash 5 game and matched all five correct numbers to hit the jackpot.
Accordingly lottery rulesthey had to split the profit three ways.
Each ticket ended up being worth $696,440, although the lottery did not specify whether that value was pre-tax or post-tax.
Two of the winners were from Hudson County and the other from Mercer.
MORE MONEY, MORE PROBLEMS
Winning the lottery is definitely a life changing experience, but not always in the best way.
Handling large sums of cash can be particularly difficult, especially for those who have poor impulse control.
Andrew Stoltmann, a legal expert and lottery attorney, has seen a fair number of winners who end up losing almost everything.
He calls these cases “lottery losers” because they often gamble away their winnings with no plans for the future.
Stoltmann said those who win larger jackpots, in the tens and hundreds of millions, are more likely to face financial turmoil.
Some winners also forget about withholding and other taxes that take away part of the profit.
“If a profit is just $2 million, it could be about $500,000 after tax,” Stoltmann said.
If a winner starts by spending $2 million, they may end up running out of money if they end up receiving the after-tax amount.
This is especially true for those who take the lump sum payment instead of an annuity payment.
Stoltmann said 90 percent of lottery winners would choose that option, but they “don’t have the infrastructure” to handle the money.
“That’s a pretty big mistake,” added the attorney.
He suggested taking the annual payments so winners learn how to manage the money, and if they make a mistake early on, they won’t throw away all of their winnings.
See how a player who won $1 million ended up receiving less than half that amount.
Also, find out what a “lottery expert” tells you what to do to increase your chances of winning the lottery.