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Lottery winners have a few cash-out options

A recent article in the Mighty Tribune stated that a couple who had recently won a Megabucks jackpot of $9 million received a cash payout of $1.5 million each. Please tell me what happened to the other $6 million. Not even state and federal taxes could account for that. I'm 84 years old, so I'd like to know if I'm going to be able to leave all that money to family when I win! (not if!)

— Bob G., Medford

Bob, when you win the Megabucks jackpot prize, you're going to be presented with a few options upon claiming your prize, according to the Oregon Lottery.

Option one: you decide to take a one-time cash payment — that's what the couple who won the $9 million jackpot did — but the one-time cash payment is half of the advertised jackpot amount before taxes.

Option two: You decide to receive your prize through annuity payments, which are paid out in 25 annual installments. If you choose annuity payments, your prize is the advertised jackpot amount before taxes.

Option three: upon winning, you disregard your family completely and simply turn over your ticket to the Mail Tribune's Since You Asked department, so that we can all quit writing this column for a living.

Good luck, Bob.

Email questions to youasked@mailtribune.com. We're sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.