Illinois Winners Beat Deadline To Claim Mega Millions Cash Sum

The Illinois winners of the $1.3 billion Mega Millions jackpot from July have come forward in time to claim the money as a lump sum payment. It is the third-largest prize in lottery history and the players have taken the option to stay anonymous.

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The jackpot went more than three months without being won before a single ticket finally proved to be an exact match for all the winning numbers on July 29. The lucky ticket was sold at the Speedway at 885 E Touhy Ave, Des Plaines, IL 60018.

Despite pleas from the Illinois Lottery for players in the state to check their tickets, nobody came forward in the weeks immediately after the draw. With a claim period of one year it was too early to worry that the winner might miss out on their money, but they did have to make contact with lottery officials within 60 days of the draw if they wanted to take the jackpot’s cash option.

With just a few days to spare until that deadline, on September 27, it has now been confirmed that the prize has been collected at last.

It has also been revealed that it has gone to two individuals rather than a single player. They played together and agreed to split the cash if they won.

The lump sum payment is worth $780.5 million before taxes, so the winners are set to receive $470.7 million between them after federal and state withholdings. This works out at more than $235 million each, while the Speedway that sold the ticket will receive a $500,000 cash bonus.

It is a windfall that is said to have left the winners ‘over the moon’, although the Illinois Lottery is unable to share any more information about them due to their desire for anonymity.

Luis Rodriguez, Illinois Lottery’s Claims Manager, 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.”

The win ranks as the second-biggest ever in Mega Millions, behind the $1.537 billion that went to an anonymous player from South Carolina on October 23, 2018. The largest lottery jackpot of all time remains the $1.58 billion Powerball prize that was split between three ticket holders in January 2016.

The current jackpots for both Powerball and Mega Millions are worth almost $600 million combined, with $270 million up for grabs in Powerball and $301 million to be won in Mega Millions.You can find out everything you need to know about both games on Powerball-MegaMillions.com, with the winning numbers published as soon as they are available.

Published: Friday, September 23, 2022