Two people claim US$1.34B Mega Millions jackpot, vowing to split prize

The third-largest lottery win in United States history is being shared by two people who wish to remain anonymous, lottery officials said Wednesday.

The Illinois Lottery announced that the $1.337 billion (approximately CAD$1.7 billion) Mega Millions jackpot was claimed by two people with a single winning lottery ticket. The two had agreed to split the prize if they won.

The record-breaking prize purse had grown to this amount because it took 29 consecutive draws for a single ticket to match the game’s six selected numbers. A winning ticket was finally found in the drawing on July 29th. The winning numbers were: 13-36-45-57-67, Mega Ball: 14.

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Mega Millions winners can choose to take the full amount, which is paid out annually over 29 years, but most opt ​​for the cash option, which is paid out immediately. Lottery officials confirmed that the two winners opted for the lump sum payment, which totaled around $780.5 million for that winning amount.

If split evenly, each winner will take home approximately $390.3 million.

The Illinois Lottery said it couldn’t share any information about the winners other than saying they must be absolutely “over the moon” with their Mega Millions jackpot. Not every state allows lottery winners to remain anonymous, but Illinois allows it.

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The winning ticket was purchased in Des Plaines, a Chicago suburb, after being purchased at a speedway gas station and convenience store in late July. The lottery said the two people have spent the past few weeks working with professional legal and financial advisors to assist in the claims process.

“These winners are now in the enviable position of deciding what to do with their newfound fortune,” said Harold Mays, director of the Illinois Lottery.

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Mega Millions winners have one year from the drawing date to claim their jackpot and must choose within 60 days to receive the money in one lump sum or in annual payments. The winning ticket holder(s) are not the only ones to benefit from the Mega Millions; The place where the winning ticket is bought will also receive a $500,000 bonus.

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Overall, Illinois retailers that sold lottery tickets generated a total of $3.75 million in commissions and bonuses.

At the busiest point of the Mega Millions ticket-buying craze in July, Illinois retailers were selling 79 tickets per second, according to the Illinois Lottery.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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