BY Stephen Nartey, 1:30pm March 28, 2024,

Liquor store clerk shocked she sold $1.13B Mega Millions ticket without knowing identity of purchaser

TiYahna Bambaata/Photo credit: TiYahna Bambaata via LinkedIn

TiYahna Bambaata, a clerk at a New Jersey liquor store, sold the $1.13 billion Mega Millions ticket without knowing the identity of the purchaser. She briefly held the life-changing ticket before handing it over to the fortunate buyer, who remains unidentified.

“It’s exciting. I’m happy that someone in my hometown (won),” Bambaata told NJ Advance Media on Wednesday at the Neptune Township ShopRite Liquor store on Route 66. “There was a few people coming in and out last night. I cannot remember who it was,” she added.

Lottery officials revealed that the winner of the $1.13 billion Mega Millions ticket manually selected their numbers instead of opting for the computer-generated random selection.

“I’m trying to go back and remember … but I have no clue at all,” said the 27-year-old college student studying to become a physician’s assistant.

Bambaata, who has been working part-time at the store for three years, is reported to be the niece of Neptune Township Mayor Tassie York.

The jackpot for the Mega Millions game grew over 15 weeks following 31 successive drawings without a winner, dating back to December 8. On that date, two men in California split a $395 million jackpot.

The $1.13 billion Mega Millions win marks New Jersey’s 24th winning ticket and only the sixth jackpot to surpass $1 billion. It ranks as the fifth-largest jackpot in the game’s history, as per lottery records. However, the winner has yet to step forward, and there’s a possibility they may remain anonymous due to a law enacted four years ago in New Jersey permitting winners to keep their identities undisclosed.

“If you are the winner, I encourage you right now, sign the back of the ticket, take a picture of it, make a copy of it, and put it in a safe place,” New Jersey Lottery Executive Director James A. Carey Jr. said.

The Mega Millions winner has the choice between receiving the $1.13 billion prize in annual payments over 30 years or taking a one-time lump sum of approximately $536.6 million.

The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are staggering, at 1 in 302,575,350.

The shop where the winning ticket was sold received a $30,000 bonus check, and ShopRite president Richard Saker announced that the money would be donated to charity.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 28, 2024


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