Three Iowa tickets were one number short of Mega Millions jackpot

CLIVE — One of the big lotto jackpot runs has ended after a ticket bought in New Jersey had the winning numbers for the $1.1 BILLION Mega Millions drawing on Tuesday. Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer says three Iowa tickets were one number away from getting a share of that prize.

The Powerball jackpot for tonight’s drawing is estimated to be $865 million for the long-term annuity payout, or $416 million for the lump sum option. Neubauer says the two payout options are often misunderstood. “One of the urban myths associated with the jackpots in Powerball and Mega Millions is that the cash amount is the jackpot amount minus taxes. And that’s definitely not the case,” Neubauer says.

She says the amount of the jackpot does not immediately include the subtraction of taxes. “The cash amount, if you take that option, is the amount that’s on hand in the jackpot pool from the sale of tickets at the moment that the jackpot was won,” Neubauer says. “If you take the annuitized payments over time, you get that cash amount that was on hand from the sale of tickets, plus all of the interest that would be built up over the 29 years that you would be receiving payments.”

Neubauer says taxes are taken out after you decide which payout option you will receive. She says that is why they always advise winners of bigger jackpots to consult a financial advisor. “There are so many decisions that would come along with claiming a prize of this amount and we would just want to make sure that people have their questions answered before they come forward. Definitely a life-changing amount of money,” she says.

The three near-miss Mega Millions tickets matched four of the first five numbers and the Mega Ball in Tuesday’s drawing. One of those tickets is worth $10,000 and the other two used the multiplier and are worth $20,000. The deadline for purchasing a Powerball ticket for tonight’s drawing is 8:59 p-m.