Illinois Player Wins $1.3 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot

Monday August 1st 2022

The second-largest Mega Millions jackpot in history was won by a single ticket holder from Illinois on Friday night. The grand prize was worth an extraordinary $1.337 billion.

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The jackpot had jumped up half a billion dollars from the previous drawing as players across all 47 participating jurisdictions rushed to take part. The result was a remarkable night, on which more than 14 million prizes were paid out.

Only one ticket matched all the numbers, though - 13, 36, 45, 57 and 67, plus the Mega Ball of 14. The winning entry was sold at Speedway #4250, located at 885 E. Touhy Ave. in Des Plaines, which is roughly around 17 miles northwest of Chicago.

At a press conference on Saturday, Harold May, director of the Illinois Department of the Lottery, said the winner had yet to claim their prize. He added: “We don’t know whether or not they even know that they won a prize, so I encourage everybody to check your ticket.”

Illinois was one of the original founding members of Mega Millions, and has been one of the game’s most successful states. The first two jackpot-winning tickets in the lottery’s history were sold in Illinois back in 2002, and now one of the largest prizes of all time has also gone to the state.

“Congratulations to the Illinois Lottery for selling the winning ticket for the $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot," said Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald, currently serving as Lead Director for the Mega Millions Consortium.

"We are thrilled to have witnessed one of the biggest jackpot wins in Mega Millions history. We're eager to find out who won and look forward to congratulating the winner soon! Better still, this exciting jackpot run has had a significant positive impact on the revenues for good causes raised by our member lotteries."

Cash or Annuity?

It may be some time before more information is known about the winner, as the claim period in Illinois is one year from the date of a drawing.

The winner will also have to decide whether to take the advertised $1.337 billion jackpot as an annuity, which consists of 30 payments over the next 29 years, or go for the cash option. The cash value is $780.5 million, which would work out at around $453.1 million after taxes are withheld.

Another rollover would almost certainly have made the jackpot the largest lottery prize to have ever been seen anywhere in the world, eclipsing the $1.58 billion Powerball payout that was split three ways in January 2016.

The Mega Millions record still belongs to an anonymous player from Simpsonville in South Carolina, who banked $1.537 billion in October 2018.

As well as the jackpot winner on Friday, there were 26 players who matched all five main numbers without the Mega Ball to win in the second prize level. Six of them had added the Megaplier, so their payout was boosted from $1 million to $2 million.

The jackpot for the next draw on Tuesday will be $20 million, giving players another chance to become a big winner.

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