Pittsburgh man claims $149 million ($86.7 million cash) Mega Millions jackpot
Prize is fifth-largest in Pennsylvania Lottery history
RELEASE DATE: 8/28/2014
Middletown, Penn. – Carl Szott, of Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, today claimed an $86.7 million Mega Millions jackpot from the May 20, 2014, drawing.
It is the first jackpot-winning Mega Millions ticket sold by the Pennsylvania Lottery and the fifth-largest prize awarded in the Lottery’s history.
Lottery Executive Director Sil Lutkewitte today presented a ceremonial check for $86,755,350 to Mr. Szott, holder of the single jackpot-winning ticket from that drawing. Szott was accompanied by his wife and several family members.
The ticket correctly matched all five white balls, 10-40-63-64-69, plus the Megaball, 07, to win a prize of a $149 million annuity, or $86.7 million cash, less 25 percent federal withholding. This jackpot had started growing in early April and rolled 12 times.
“Winning the jackpot has been a surreal experience,” Szott said. “We hope that very little in our lives will change; we are really excited to be able to spend more time with our children and grandchildren.”
Szott noted that he waited 100 days to claim the prize in order to “make sure we were doing everything right.”
Szott purchased the ticket at White Oak Gas & Grocery, 1100 Fawcett Ave., White Oak, Allegheny County. It was a Quick Pick ticket. The store, a Lottery retailer since April 2012, earns a $100,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
This morning, Szott presented the Mega Millions ticket for validation at Lottery headquarters in Middletown, Dauphin County. Lottery officials confirmed it was the jackpot-winning ticket after examining the ticket and executing proprietary security measures.
“I’m very glad to introduce Carl Szott as the Pennsylvania Lottery’s very first Mega Millions jackpot winner,” said Lutkewitte. “This jackpot is also the fifth-largest prize in Pennsylvania Lottery history.”
Since the Pennsylvania Lottery joined the multi-state game in early 2010, Mega Millions and Megaplier sales have generated more than $164.5 million in proceeds to support benefits for older Pennsylvanians.
The odds of hitting the Mega Millions jackpot are approximately 1-in-258,890,850. The odds of winning any Mega Millions prize are 1-in-14.71.
Listening to the radio the morning after the drawing, Szott heard that the jackpot-winning ticket had been sold in his area. When he realized that the numbers read by the announcer matched those on his ticket, he was “in shock.”
“Fortunately, I was pulled off the road when I heard the numbers,” Szott said. “As it sunk in that I had won, I immediately said a few prayers.”
Szott said he waited a few hours to collect his thoughts before calling his wife to share the great news. The couple then decided to keep the news to themselves, not even sharing it with their children until a whole-family vacation later in the summer.
While Mega Millions has been part of the Pennsylvania Lottery’s game lineup since 2010, Powerball has been sold here since 2002. The Pennsylvania Lottery has sold 17 jackpot-winning Powerball tickets, the most recent in June 2013.
The largest prize ever awarded to a single winning ticket in Pennsylvania was a $110.2 million Powerball jackpot cash prize from the May 8, 2004, drawing, which was claimed by a couple from Skillman, N.J.
How to Play Mega Millions: Mega Millions tickets cost $1 per play. Players pick five numbers from 1 to 75 and one number from 1 to 15 (the Mega Ball). Players may select their own numbers using a Mega Millions play slip, or they may opt for computer-selected quick picks.
For an extra $1 per play, players can add the Megaplier. Prior to the Mega Millions drawing, the Megaplier number – ranging from two to five – is randomly selected. The Megaplier applies to non-jackpot prizes.
Mega Millions tickets are sold in 44 states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are held on Tuesdays and Fridays. Learn more about the game online at www.megamillions.com.
About the Pennsylvania Lottery: The Pennsylvania Lottery remains the only state lottery that designates all its proceeds to programs that benefit older residents. Since its inception in 1971, the Pennsylvania Lottery has contributed more than $24.7 billion to programs that include property tax and rent rebates; free transit and reduced-fare shared rides; the low-cost prescription drug programs PACE and PACENET; long-term living services; and the 52 Area Agencies on Aging, including full- and part-time senior centers throughout the state.
The Pennsylvania Lottery reminds players to check every ticket, every time. Players must be 18 or older. Please play responsibly. For help with a gambling problem, call 1-800-848-1880.
Visit www.palottery.com for drawings results, game demos and odds, winners’ stories, our VIP Players Club offering coupons and giveaways, and to subscribe to text and email alerts. Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/palottery or follow us at www.twitter.com/palottery.
Media contacts: Pennsylvania Lottery, Gary Miller or Lauren Bottaro, (717) 702-8008
Editor’s Note: Mr. Szott generously participated in a news conference recognizing this win, but asked the media and others to respect their privacy in the future. He also asked the Lottery to decline any future media interview requests.