Half billion-dollar lottery ticket sold in PA, the state will also be a big winner

Pennsylvania Politics

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — A lottery ticket worth more than half a billion dollars was sold in Bucks County and somebody now has a lot of bucks. The State of Pennsylvania, thanks to a five-year-old law, is also a big winner.

Seven and 11 are said to be lucky numbers and somebody got real lucky at a 7/11 in the Philly suburbs, hitting a Mega Million jackpot worth more than half a billion. It was not Rose Cabrera.

“When somebody else wins I’m like congratulations to them at the end of the day because somebody got that money,” Cabrera said.

But Rose, and lots of her neighbors, are regular players hoping lady luck will someday find them. “I’ll keep playing until my dream comes true hopefully,” Cabrera said.

Manny Araujo spent $50 trying to be a mega-millionaire. “I’m living the dream now I just want to have a nicer dream,” Araujo said.

Lottery winners aren’t the only winners. When a resident hits the big one, PA gets a big payday. It wasn’t until 2016, tucked into budget language, that the state began taking its 3.07% cut off the top of lottery wins over $5,000.

So for the annuity, the $516 million winner will send $15.8 million to the general fund. If they choose the $349 million lump sum, PA’s cut is $10.7 million.

But paying that tax is a problem Manny would like to have. “Trying to hit the big one and retire early,” Araujo said.

Senior citizens are also big winners as their programs are funded by the lottery.

If nobody claims the winning ticket the PA lottery gets to keep it to fund those programs. In the five years since the law has been enacted, lottery winners have sent nearly $47 million to the state’s general fund.

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