TRENTON, N.J. - New Jersey got at least one new multimillionaire. And the person with that newfound wealth decided to be at least somewhat mysterious about it.
A lucky player hit the $202 million Mega Millions jackpot in the Feb. 11, 2020, drawing. That person came forward to claim their cash but chose to remain anonymous under a law that had passed in the state just about a month before the drawing, lottery officials announced on Tuesday.
The day after the drawing, lottery officials announced that a jackpot-winning ticket had been sold at a convenience store in Middlesex County.
"The player mentioned that they first saw this announcement that day on Facebook and went to their car to check the lucky ticket," the New Jersey Lottery said in a news release. "The winner, completely shocked, managed to compose themselves enough to get back to work while they gathered their thoughts and made a plan."
At a press conference later in the day on Feb. 12, New Jersey Lottery Executive Director James Carey presented the Quick Stop Food Store in Edison with a $30,000 bonus check for selling the winning ticket.
But the winner of the jackpot wasn't there. The person was watching the press conference live on Facebook, lottery officials said.
"We always tell people when you win—sign the back of that ticket right away," Carey said at that February press conference. "Then put it in a safe place, talk to an attorney, talk to a financial advisor, and come to us and claim that ticket."
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Upon hearing those words, the winner signed the ticket and then went to a lawyer for advice on how to proceed, lottery officials said. It seems that legal advice included staying out of the public eye, for now at least.
The New Jersey law that passed in January allows lottery winners to remain anonymous. The legislation sought to address the so-called lottery curse, which amounts to harassment and threats that can happen after a winner's identity becomes public, state Senate President Steve Sweeney, who supported the bill, said at the time.