The Mega Millions ticket that matched all five numbers and the gold Mega Ball during the July 29, 2022, draw to win the game’s second all-time largest jackpot of $1.337 billion remains at large.
A lottery retailer hands a player his Mega Millions tickets. The Mega Millions ticket that won the $1.337 billion draw in July has not yet been turned in. (Image: VIEWpress)
The Illinois Lottery reports that the winning ticket sold at the Speedway gas station on Touhy Avenue in Des Plaines has still not been redeemed. The single winning ticket matched the numbers 13-36-45-57-67 and gold Mega Ball 14.
Lottery winners in Illinois have 365 days from the draw date to redeem their prizes. Though plenty of time remains, many begin to wonder as time passes whether the ticket slip worth a 10-ten digit sum before taxes might be lost.
But lottery officials say it’s common for major winners to take their time before coming forward. State lottery reps explained that it’s in the winner’s best interest to consult with financial experts and attorneys in deciding the best route of redeeming such a life-altering jackpot.
For a prize of this magnitude, it’s not unusual,” explained Meghan Powers, director of communications for the Illinois Lottery.
The biggest decision facing the lucky winner is whether to take the one-time lump sum cash payout of approximately $453.1 million after federal and state tax, or to opt for the 30-year annuity that would equate to around $777 million post-taxes.
Illinois is one of 11 states that allows lottery winners to remain anonymous regardless of their prize. The 34 other states, plus DC and the US Virgin Islands, that participate in Mega Millions do not afford winners such anonymity.
If the past might hint at the future, the $1.337 billion Mega Millions winner will choose the one-time cash option and remain anonymous. That’s the route that the Mega Millions winner in South Carolina chose in claiming the record $1.537 billion jackpot won on October 23, 2018.
South Carolina is one of those states that provides lottery winners with an anonymous avenue to receive their newfound wealth. That person also took his or her time in coming forward to the state lottery to redeem the Mega Millions jackpot.
The South Carolina Lottery said the $1.537 billion winner took 132 days to meet with their advisors before coming to the lottery with the winning ticket. The person chose the one-time cash distribution, which came to $877,784,124 after state and federal taxes.
While the person did not want to reveal their identity, they told the lottery that they allowed another person to jump in front of them in line at the KC Mart convenience store in Simpsonville. That person also purchased a Mega Millions ticket.
“The winner marvels at how every decision made that day brought the winner to the store, at that very moment, to make the Quick Pick Mega Millions lottery ticket purchase,” the South Carolina Lottery said in a release at the time. “A simple act of kindness led to an amazing outcome.”
Chances are you aren’t the forthcoming multimillionaire waiting to claim their Mega Millions prize in Illinois. But fear not, as the premier interstate lottery games are building their jackpots.
Tonight’s Powerball draw has an estimated jackpot of $124 million. Tomorrow’s Mega Millions draw has a $153 million jackpot up for grabs.
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