$1.3 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot Finally Claimed in Illinois

Thursday September 22nd 2022

Illinois Lottery officials have confirmed that the $1.337 Mega Millions jackpot from July 29th has finally been claimed almost eight weeks later. The prize has been shared by a partnership.

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There has been no news of the winners for almost two months, since a ticket bought at Speedway #4250, located at 885 E. Touhy Ave. in Des Plaines, matched all the numbers in the historic draw.

It was the second-largest jackpot ever seen in Mega Millions, and created the biggest win of all time in Illinois.

The claim period in the Prairie State is one year after a drawing, but there was another deadline looming on September 27th - 60 days after the win. If the jackpot had not been claimed by then, the winner would have had no choice but to take the money as an annuity.

Instead, they have come forward in time to take the cash option, with the Illinois Lottery confirming that it will be paid out as a lump sum worth $780.5 million.

Winners Stay Anonymous

Few other details were disclosed about the winners, as they have decided to stay anonymous. The two players had agreed to split any prizes if they won, and have spent the past few weeks taking financial and legal advice.

The Illinois Lottery’s Claims Manager, Luis Rodriguez, said: “I’ve been working for the Illinois Lottery for over five years and this is by far the largest prize I’ve ever had to process. When we met with the winners’ lawyers there was a real buzz of excitement in the room. 

“It’s a surreal feeling giving away this amount of money and knowing what a huge impact this is going to make on the winners’ lives, and for others close to them as well. It was an incredible feeling just to be part of that process – so I can only imagine how the winners themselves are feeling.”

Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays added: “These winners are now in the enviable position of deciding what to do with their newfound fortune. 

“They stopped into the Speedway in Des Plaines and grabbed a Mega Millions ticket while they were there. That turned out to be an absolutely life changing decision when a $3 line of Mega Millions with Megaplier turned into a $1.34 billion jackpot win.”

The jackpot had gone more than three months without being won before the lucky winners matched all the numbers - 13, 36, 45, 57 and 67, plus the Mega Ball of 14. 

The only bigger jackpot in Mega Millions history has been the $1.53 billion payout that went to a player from South Carolina in October 2018. Like the Illinois winners, they also decided to stay anonymous.

Mega Millions draws take place every Tuesday and Friday night in Atlanta, Georgia. Check the latest numbers after every drawing to find out if you have won.

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