The $1.34 billion Mega Millions jackpot winner hasn’t yet collected their prize, and lottery officials are advising people to check their tickets to see what number they have.
In Des Plaines, Illinois, a Speedway gas station sold the winning ticket for the drawing on July 29. The winner is still unknown one month later, lottery officials revealed on Thursday.
Harold Mays, head of the Illinois Department of the Lottery, said, “We don’t know whether or not they even know that they won a prize. “Therefore, I urge everyone to check their ticket.”
Illinois lottery winners who win a prize above $250,000 can choose to remain anonymous, unlike some other states. Some officials, however, think that the holder of the winning ticket might have chosen not to inform anyone about the award.
“It’s not unusual for the winner to take some time to claim a prize of this size. They must be experiencing a variety of feelings, Mays added. We’ll work closely with the winner to respect any privacy requests and will help them in every manner we can to make winning enjoyable.
The third-largest lottery victory in US history, the $1.34 billion prize. The anticipated lump-sum winning prize for the jackpot, per Mega Millions, is $747.2m. The winner gets 12 months from the draw date to collect their prize, but they only have 60 days to decide whether they want to receive the entire jackpot amount up front or in payments spread out over 29 years. A monetary prize of $500,000 will also be given to the Des Plaines Speedway for selling the winning ticket.
According to Michael Browning, Regional Director for Speedway, “Nothing makes us happier than giving a little bit of joy to our clients’ lives—or in this case, a whole lot of joy!” “We’re pleased to have been a part of this customer’s winning adventure and hope that many more members of the neighborhood can have the same luck from this unique store,” the store said.
The $1.586 billion Powerball prize from 2016 was the second-largest jackpot, and three winning tickets were purchased in California, Florida, and Tennessee. A South Carolina ticket purchaser won the $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot in October 2018 but chose to go unnamed. A single ticket in Michigan won the third-largest prize in 2021, totaling $1.05 billion.