JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The president of the Mississippi Lottery Corporation is warning people not to fall victim to scams.
Tom Shaheen said in a news release Wednesday that fake communications about lottery winnings are common.
“We were informed today of a scam going around where Mississippians have received telephone calls regarding a second chance at winning the Mega Millions jackpot,” Shaheen said. “If you should receive such a call, you should immediately hang up. In addition, if you receive this information by email, text, social media message or any other method of communication, do not respond. This is a scam.”
The news release said that the Mississippi Lottery does not contact winners because the corporation does not know a winner’s identity until that person claims a prize.
For Powerball and other online games, the lottery knows the winning numbers and where the ticket was sold. The winner must keep the ticket and confirm the numbers on it. If nobody comes forward with winning numbers, no one claims the prize.
The news release also said a legitimate lottery never asks winners to pay taxes upfront. All federal and state taxes are paid before the lottery releases money to a winner.