Winners Of Record Breaking Mega Millions Jackpot Finally Came Forward To Claim Their Prize

After 8-weeks of remaining unclaimed, a pair of anonymous individuals from a Chicago suburb have stepped forward to claim their $1.3 billion Mega Millions prize.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Related:
The Convenience Store Where You Can Win Free Gas For A Year

Two people have finally claimed the $1.3 billion Mega Millions jackpot, almost eight weeks after the numbers were drawn. The winners, who wish to remain anonymous, jointly purchased a single ticket in a Chicago suburb and agreed to split the prize money if they won. “They stopped at the Speedway in Des Plaines and grabbed a ticket while they were there,” Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays said in a press release. “That turned out to be an absolutely life-changing decision.”

The Illinois Lottery said the jackpot for the July 29 Mega Millions draw was the nation’s third-largest lottery prize. While the winners had 12 months from the date of the draw to claim their winnings, they only had 60 days to choose the cash option or annual payments, per the rules. “For a prize of this magnitude, it’s not unusual for the winner to take a while to claim,” Harold Mays said in a previous statement. “I’m sure they’re going through a range of emotions.”

According to lottery officials, the pair has opted to take a lump sum payment of $780.5 million each. The winners have spent the last few weeks working with professional legal and financial advisors to support the claim process which is something experts recommend for all Mega Millions winners. The organization was unable to share any further information about the lucky duo. But it did tell NPR they must be absolutely over the moon with their prize.

ponzi scheme mega millions apple saudi aramco milk prices

“These winners are now in the enviable position of deciding what to do with their newfound fortune,” Harold Mays added. According to the Mega Millions website, the winning numbers were 13-36-45-57-67. The bonus Mega Ball number was 14. The prize became so large because no one had matched the game’s six selected numbers since April 15th. That meant there were 29 consecutive draws without a jackpot winner.

Now, because nobody has won since the July 29th draw, the Illinois Lottery jackpot currently stands at an estimated $301 million. Illinois is one of 16 states where Mega Millions lottery winners can remain anonymous. When the winners still hadn’t come forward last month, Today‘s Hoda Kotb told viewers that lottery officials were urging everyone in Illinois to check their old tickets to make sure they didn’t have the golden ticket.

If the $1.3 billion Mega Millions prize had remained unclaimed after the 12-month deadline, all the money each participating state spent on contributing to the jackpot would have been returned, according to the game’s website. The winners aren’t the only ones who cashed in from the draw. Earlier this month lottery officials said retailers in Illinois generated $3.75 million in commission and bonuses from selling tickets.

The Speedway that sold the winning Mega Millions ticket will also get a $500,000 bonus. Interestingly, the odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350. The single ticket winnings for the $1.34 billion jackpot in July come behind a $1.54 billion prize won in October 2018. The largest overall jackpot of $1.59 billion in January 2016 was split between three tickets.