Woman wins $20million in lottery - but loses $5million after making choice

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A Brooklyn woman named McDonnell won a $20 million prize in Ohio
A Brooklyn woman named McDonnell won a $20 million prize in Ohio's Billion scratch-off lottery game (Image: Getty Images)

A woman won $20million in the lottery - but a choice meant she loses a quarter of the winnings.

A Brooklyn woman has emerged victorious in Ohio's Billion scratch-off game, claiming a staggering $20million (£15.7m) prize. But her calculated decision on how to receive her winnings cost her dearly, as she stands to lose more than $5million (£3.9m) due to taxes.

Identified only as McDonnell, the fortunate winner defied odds of 1 in 6.48 million to secure the top spot in Ohio's highly sought-after Billion scratch-off game. Each ticket for the game comes at a price of $50.

In a departure from the norm, McDonnell opted for an annuity payout rather than a lump sum. While this decision ensures a consistent flow of funds over time, it comes at a significant cost. Instead of receiving the full $20million upfront, she will be paid $1million annually for the next 20 years.

Woman wins $20million in lottery - but loses $5million after making choice eideziqkeiqhhinvMcDonnell chose to receive her winnings through an annuity, receiving $1million annually for 20 years

However, the tax implications of this choice are substantial. After federal and state tax deductions, McDonnell's annual earnings will be approximately $720,000. Over the two decades of the annuity payout, these deductions will accumulate to a loss of more than $5 million,

Woman was 'adamant' she would win top lottery prize - then pockets $200,000Woman was 'adamant' she would win top lottery prize - then pockets $200,000

The rationale behind choosing the annuity option often stems from a desire for controlled financial management. Many past lottery winners have experienced financial difficulties shortly after their windfall, prompting some to opt for structured payments to prevent squandering their newfound wealth.

McDonnell purchased her winning ticket from the Memphis Shell station in Cleveland. The station will be rewarded with a substantial $100,000 bonus.

For those who missed out on this remarkable win, the Ohio Lottery site's press release confirms that three prizes of $1million a year for 20 years are still up for grabs. Tickets for the Billion scratch-off game have been available since January 2023.

Woman wins $20million in lottery - but loses $5million after making choiceThe winning ticket was purchased at a Memphis Shell station in Cleveland (Getty Images)

In another lottery win, a lorry driver won the lottery just three days after telling his boss he was retiring. Paul Bashaw, from West Boylston in Massachusetts, was stunned when he scooped $1million on the Cashword scratch card purchased on July 20. But despite his win, Paul Bashaw finished his notice period without saying a word about his good fortune to colleagues.

Bashaw bought the winning ticket just days after informing his employer of over 20 years of his plans to retire at the end of the following week. The lorry driver went on to claim his winnings at the Massachusetts Lottery headquarters in Dorchester on 28 July – his very last day at work.

The former lorry driver, who turns 66 later this year, said he has seen three of his dreams come true in the last five years. Speaking to Massachusetts Lottery, he said: "I told my wife there were three things in life I never thought I'd see happen - the Patriots winning the Super Bowl, getting a hole in one - that happened five years ago - and hitting the lottery. And now I've hit all three!"

Lucy Williamson

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