I won $5 million on a $20 scratch-off game, but the lottery only awarded me half of it because of my difficult decision

A lucky scratch-off winner had to make a tough decision when he realized that he would only be taking home less than half of his $5,000,000 prize.

Winning the entire jackpot in a lottery is a rare occurrence, and there may come a day when you find yourself in a similar situation.


Jose Galeano, a resident of Lindenhurst, New York, had dreams of supercars and mansions when he struck gold by winning a staggering $5,000,000 on the highly coveted Cash Royale scratch-off game offered by the New York Lottery.

He purchased his winning card for $20 at a Stop & Shop in Amityville.

According to the New York lottery on December 8, Galeano ended up receiving only $2,235,939, which is less than half of the advertised jackpot.

He faced a common predicament.

When individuals win significant lottery prizes, they are faced with a decision.

They have the option to receive the entire jackpot over a span of 30 years through monthly annuity payments.

Alternatively, individuals have the option to agree to a considerably reduced amount of money upfront right away.

Geleano opted for the latter choice, yet he still couldn’t gather the entire sum of money.

Winners of the lottery must pay federal taxes, and in the case of New York, they are also required to pay state taxes on their lottery winnings. This is unlike California and some other states that do not collect taxes on lottery prizes.


Winning a significant amount of money in the lottery can put you in a similar predicament.

When it comes to deciding between the annuity and lump sum options, many individuals find themselves pondering over which one is the better choice.

According to numerous financial experts, the lump sum payment is widely regarded as the more advantageous choice, despite the existence of both pros and cons for both options.

During an episode of The Dave Ramsey Show, Dave Ramsey advised a lottery winner, emphasizing the potential financial benefits of choosing the lump sum option and investing it wisely.

“I believe that investing the money after taxes will yield better returns than leaving it with those individuals in that annuity,” he expressed confidently.

Ramsey believes that individuals who are prone to mishandling a large sum of money should consider receiving annuity payments instead. This way, they are unable to spend the entire amount at once.

Keep in mind that engaging in the lottery is a type of gambling and must be approached with responsibility.

If you or someone you know is displaying signs of gambling addiction, it is crucial to seek help immediately. Reach out to the National Gambling Hotline at 1-800-522-4700 or visit the National Council on Problem Gambling website for assistance.

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