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$202 million jackpot winner in New Jersey can stay anonymous

The Quick Stop Food Store in Edison sold the ticket for Tuesday’s drawing.

$202 million jackpot winner in New Jersey

A lucky lottery player in New Jersey has won a $202 million jackpot, officials announced Wednesday.

The Quick Stop Food Store in Edison sold the winning Mega Millions ticket for Tuesday’s drawing.

The jackpot, the first won by a Mega Millions player in 2020, has a cash value of $142 million, New Jersey Lottery Executive Director James Carey said.

Carey presented a ceremonial $30,000 bonus check to the Quick Stop Food Store owner at a news conference Wednesday.

But the big winner won’t have to show his or her face to the world: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a new law in January which allows lottery winners to stay anonymous.

The winner has not yet come forward and has one year to do so.

Carey urges the winner to “sign the back of that ticket right away.”

“Put it in a safe place,” he added, “and then go out, talk to your family, talk to your attorney, talk to a financial adviser, come to us and claim that ticket.”

A lucky lottery player in New Jersey won Tuesday's $202 million jackpot, officials announced Wednesday.

Mega Millions winner in New Jersey anonymously claims $202 million jackpot

Someone in New Jersey is $202 million dollars richer — we just don’t know who.

The mystery player claimed their Mega Millions prize recently, making them the first in the state to do so under anonymity, lottery officials said on Tuesday.

In January 2020, a new law was passed allowing New Jersey Mega Millions winners to collect their prizes anonymously and avoid publicity. Nearly a month later, on Feb. 12, the winning ticket was announced after the prior night’s drawing.

The New Jersey Lottery said in a statement that the lucky person watched the announcement on Facebook while at work and went to their car to check their ticket.

“The winner, completely shocked, managed to compose themselves enough to get back to work while they gathered their thoughts and made a plan,” the statement said.

James Carey, executive director of the New Jersey Lottery, visited the Quick Stop Food Store in Edison where the winning ticket was sold on the day of the announcement. He awarded owners Apexa and Kauschik Patela a $30,000 commission check and offered a bit of advice to the unknown jackpot winner.

“We always tell people when you win — sign the back of that ticket right away,” Carey said at the Quick Stop. “Then put it in a safe place, talk to an attorney, talk to a financial advisor, and come to us and claim that ticket.”

The winner was indeed listening. After watching the press conference live on Facebook they “were overwhelmed with the good news and unsure what to do next.” But they eventually signed the ticket and went to a lawyer, who guided them in how to best go about securing their newfound wealth, said lottery officials.

Only a handful of other states— Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and South Carolina— allow jackpot winners the choice of total anonymity, which is intended to protect winners from harassment.

Stefan Sykes is a news associate for NBC News.

$202 million New Jersey jackpot Mega Millions winner win won money Gov. Phil Murphy ]]>