Mega Millions $1.337B Winner Can Remain Anonymous Under Illinois Lottery Law

The person or persons holding the Mega Millions winning ticket that hit all six numbers during the July 29 drawing can choose to remain anonymous should they wish. Illinois is one of several states that does not require major lottery winners to come forward publicly.

The Speedway gas station where a Mega Millions ticket worth $1.337 billion before taxes was sold ahead of the lottery drawing on July 29, 2022. Illinois Lottery laws allow the identity of the purchaser to remain confidential. (Image: Reuters)

The winning ticket was purchased at the Speedway convenience store in Des Plaines, Il. The Illinois Lottery said the Mega Millions winner should sign the back of the ticket and seek professional and legal advice before scheduling an appointment with the lottery to redeem the prize.

The lottery hysteria has resulted in many Americans eagerly awaiting more information on who overcame the one in 302.5 million odds of matching all six numbers. The winner’s identity might not ever be known. Illinois is one of only 11 states that does not require lottery winners to make their identity known.

Anonymous Allowance

The Illinois Lottery allows lottery winners of $250,000 or more to keep their identity confidential. Winners must notify the lottery of their decision to remain anonymous when initially claiming their prize.

The Illinois Lottery says those who do not remain anonymous are typically publicized. That’s because winners’ identities are disclosed in order “to assure the public that prizes are won and awarded.”

The other states that permit major lottery winners to stay anonymous are Arizona, Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, and Virginia. The 34 other states that participate in Mega Millions , as well as DC and the US Virgin Islands, would have required the $1.337 billion winner to be revealed.

The $1.337 billion win is the largest lottery prize ever won in Illinois history. The fortune being won in Des Plaines is also a major win for the Speedway that sold the ticket. Mega Millions pays its authorized retailers a 1% commission up to $500,000 for selling jackpot winning tickets. If there were no cap, the Speedway would have received around $1.33 million.

Along with the $1.337 billion win, another Mega Millions player in Illinois matched all five white balls to win the game’s second-best prize of $1 million. The SRB Food Mart in Berkeley that sold that ticket will receive a cash bonus of $10,000.

Excluding the jackpot, Illinois Mega Millions players won more than $2.5 million during the July 29 draw. More than 390,000 tickets sold in Illinois won some sort of prize.

Powerball Rising

With the Mega Millions frenzy settled and its jackpot resetting to an estimated $20 million prize for tomorrow night’s drawing, many lottery players will move to Powerball. The Mega Millions rival is seeing its jackpot grow, with the draw for tonight being an estimated $187 million.

The Powerball jackpot was last won during the June 29 draw when a single ticket sold in Vermont won a $366.7 million prize. In January, two winners — Tammy and Cliff Webster of Wisconsin and Orlando Lozana of California — split a $632.6 million Powerball jackpot.

Top 10 Lottery Wins in US History

$1.586B 1/13/2016 — 3-CA, FL, TN (Powerball)
$1.537B 10/23/2018 — 1-SC (Mega Millions)
$1.337B 7/29/2022 — 1-IL (Mega Millions)
$1.05B 1/22/2021 — 1-MI (Mega Millions)
$768.4M 3/27/2019 — 1-WI (Powerball)
$758.7M 8/23/2017 — 1-MA (Powerball)
$731.1M 1/20/2021 — 1-MD (Powerball)
$699.8M 10/4/2021 — 1-CA (Powerball)
$687.8M 10/27/2018 — 2-IA, NY (Powerball)
$656M 3/30/2012 — 3-IL, KS, MD (Mega Millions)

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