Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots: What you should know if you win
Here’s what you should know if you win the Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot.
Just the FAQs, USA TODAY
A Powerball winner from Michigan is advocating for lottery winners to have the option to remain anonymous. Cristy Davis’ identity was used without her consent when she won a $70 million Powerball jackpot. That’s why she fights to ensure that this doesn’t happen to others.
Michigan state law allows people who win more than $10,000 in local and domestic lottery games to claim their winnings without revealing their name. However, they can’t choose anonymity when winning multi-state games like Mega Millions, Powerball and Lucky for Life.
“We tried to hire a lawyer to see if I could do it [claim] anonymous, and they said no,” Davis told the Lottery Post. “That was my big thing – I didn’t want to go on TV.” I know so many people [who’ve] I’ve been through so much in life and it was either that or no money.”
Davis, a resident of Waterford, Michigan, discovered that her identity was being used in local Facebook groups without her consent.
“I looked inside [the] In the Waterford Matters Facebook group, a post: “This is Cristy Davis and I’m giving away blah blah blah blah… Send me this information to this phone number.” Comments on [the post] saying, ‘You cleaned out my bank account.’ Why would you give anyone your bank account information?'” she said. “And then I have friends there [replying]“That’s not her,” I said, saying I wasn’t on social media and I changed my name.”
Davis claims this is a great example of why lottery winners shouldn’t be required to reveal their names. Keeping the identity of major prize winners secret protects not only the winners, but also others who could be targeted by fraudsters who use fraudulent messages to take advantage of vulnerable people, particularly the elderly.
“The lottery people need to know that this is what will happen if they give out your name,” she claimed. “The lottery even emailed me saying, ‘Oh, we heard you’re out here scamming people.’ I said, ‘You know, this is what happens when you give out people’s names.'”
Davis believes winning the lottery could have unintended consequences, such as leaving a long-time home, changing a name or phone number, and a change in lifestyle.
“They should definitely pass the law that allows this [lottery winners] stay anonymous because [the Lottery doesn’t] “Recognize what they are doing to people,” Davis shared.[Winning the lottery] is already life changing. Many people move away, but some don’t. I did not do it. That’s probably why I felt this way all the time. It’s just too good to be true because of everything that comes after.
More: A man who won $5 million on the Colorado Lottery couldn’t wait to buy watermelon and flowers for his wife
Davis’ 2020 lottery win
Davis won $70 million on Powerball by matching all the numbers plus the Powerball. She opted for a one-time lump sum payment of around $36 million after taxes.
She bought her tickets at the Huron Plaza Liquor Store on West Huron Street in Pontiac.
After she bought her lottery tickets, a friend told her that the winning Powerball ticket was bought at the same place she bought hers. She was at her workplace when she pulled out her ticket to check it and she couldn’t believe what she saw.
“My friend Erica stands next to me and says, ‘No,'” Davis remembers. “I shouted through the whole store and everyone came running. It was literally three seconds of excitement and then it felt like it was too good to be true. It still hasn’t made me realize it’s real.”