In case you haven't been paying attention, tonight's (August 8th, 2023) Mega Millions jackpot drawing is worth $1.55 billion, or enough that even people who never buy lottery tickets are seriously considering, or have already bought, a few tickets to get in on the action.

So let's assume for just a moment that everything goes your way, and the numbers you pre-selected or quick-picked come through for you and make you the big winner of all that money. What do you think will happen to your life?

One thing that many lottery winners have happen, much to their annoyance, is everyone they've ever known comes out of the woodwork looking for a payout of some sort because the winner's name has been made public.

Getty Images
Getty Images

I Hate To Break It To You Like This, But If You Play The Lottery In Illinois And Want To Remain Anonymous If You Win A Big Jackpot---You Should Have Moved To Another State

Actually, I should be a bit more precise. Here in Illinois, if you win a lottery jackpot worth over $250,000 you can request to keep your name and hometown confidential. I guess that Illinois lottery officials think that prize money totaling less than a quarter million dollars just isn't worth anyone's time to bug a winner for a few bucks.

If you wanted to keep all that information to yourself, these states are happy to try to accommodate you (hat tip to

    • Delaware: Winners are allowed to remain anonymous, regardless of prize size.
    • Kansas: Winners in Kansas can request to remain anonymous.
    • Maryland: In most cases, winners can remain anonymous.
    • Mississippi: The state lottery won’t identify a winner unless they have given written consent.
    • Missouri: Your name is only released if you give the lottery written consent
    • Montana: Your name is not released, but where you live may be.
    • New Jersey: Winners can choose to remain anonymous.
    • North Dakota: Winners have the option to remain anonymous
    • South Carolina: A winner in South Carolina can remain anonymous, despite recent efforts to change that.
    • Wyoming: Winners can remain anonymous or give permission to the state’s lottery to share some information.

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