Jackpots have been all the buzz this week with Mega Millions record-setting $970 million jackpot and Powerball’s $430 million jackpot. That’s more than $1.3 billion up for grabs!  If Minnesota gets lucky enough to have a winner, we thought we’d fill you in on answers to some frequently asked questions … just in case you hit the big one.

What should I do with the ticket?

Lottery tickets are bearer instruments, which means whoever signs the back of the ticket is the owner of that ticket. It’s always a good idea to sign the back of the ticket upon purchase and keep it in a safe place.

How long do I have to claim my prize?

In Minnesota, winners have one year from the date of the drawing to claim prizes. Once the ticket has been presented for payment, jackpot winners have 60 days to decide if they would like to take the cash option or the annuity option, which is paid in 30 payments over 29 years.

Where do I go to claim my prize?

In Minnesota, all prizes over $50,000 must be claimed in person at Lottery headquarters in Roseville.

How long will it take to get my money?

Once the winning ticket has been presented for payment and the winner has decided between cash vs. annuity, it can take up to two weeks to get paid.

What about taxes?

For winners of $5,000 or more, we are required to withhold 31.25 percent in federal and state taxes. Here’s the breakdown: 24 percent in federal income taxes and 7.25 percent in Minnesota state income taxes. It may be in your best interest to consult with a professional tax advisor to determine your tax situation to avoid any surprises.

Can I remain anonymous?

In Minnesota, lottery winners cannot remain anonymous. A winner’s name, city, prize amount won and the place that the winning ticket was sold is public data and will be released to media and posted on our website.

Do I have to participate in a news conference?

This part is optional, but we always love to promote our winners to show that real people (like you) actually win!