Illinois’ $1Billion Lottery Winner Has 10 Days, Or Things Change

If you had won over $1 billion in the lottery on July 29th ($1.34 billion in this case), would you still be standing on your side contemplating what you were going to do with your newfound fortune? Or would you have been to the lottery office the very next day to claim your life-changing prize jackpot?

No one seems to know for sure what Illinois’ newest billionaire-billionaire is doing, will do, or if the potential winner even knows they even have a winning ticket.

However, one thing is certain. They have to do something within the next week or so because if they don’t, their options on how to take their winnings will definitely change.

Billion Dollar Bill

Sure… that seems legit. (Getty Images)

The winner of the $1.34 billion Mega Millions lottery ticket bought at a Des Plaines gas station has still not come forward

And that’s not all that unusual. The Illinois Lottery encourages potential winners to be sure to sign their winning ticket first. Then they suggest that the winner seek good, solid legal and financial advice. After that, they say that you should make an appointment with the lottery to start claiming the jackpot.

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As a winner, you have 12 months left in Illinois to claim your prize jackpot, and if the jackpot amount exceeds $250,000 you can choose to remain anonymous.

However, if you wait longer than 60 days to sign up, you lose an option on the money.

Businessman holding big bundle of money

That’s correct. Raise with your legs. (Getty Images)

In Illinois, lottery, Powerball and Mega Millions winners have 60 days to choose either the cash lump sum option or annuity payments

And if you, as a jackpot winner, fail to do so, the jackpot will automatically be paid to you in the form of an annual annuity payment.

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So which option is the better one?

According to,

The $1.337 billion prize would be paid annually over 29 years if the winner elected the annuity option. If the winner opts for cash, they would receive an estimated $780.5 million.

I think it probably depends on what kind of person you are. Do you feel comfortable making a lump sum payment that you could potentially use up in a short time, or would you feel more comfortable knowing that you have almost 30 years of payments ahead of you?

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LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in Illinois

Using data from Niche, Stacker has compiled a list of the best places to live in Illinois. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors, including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs and communities were included. Entries and images are from

The list has a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to walkable and public parks. Some areas have experienced rapid growth thanks to the arrival of new businesses, while others offer a glimpse into the region’s history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Read on to see if your hometown is on the list.

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