CHICAGO – It's been almost a week since a single Mega Millions ticket sold in Illinois won the third largest jackpot of all time, an incredible windfall of $1.337 billion.
Everyone is wondering who the lucky winner is - and the Illinois Lottery is also still wondering, as the winner is yet to come forward.
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"For a prize of this magnitude, it's not unusual for the winner to take a while to claim," said Illinois Lottery Director, Harold Mays. "I'm sure they're going through a range of emotions."
The Lottery has three key pieces of advice for the lucky winner on what to do next:
- Sign the back of the ticket and keep it somewhere safe
- Seek professional financial and legal advice
- Call the Lottery Player Hotline on 1-800-252-1775 to arrange a private appointment to claim the prize.
For more information on what happens after a big win, the Lottery has provided a helpful Winner's Handbook, which is available for download on the Illinois Lottery website.
Lottery winners of prizes of $250,000 or more can opt to remain anonymous in Illinois.
"We will work closely with the winner to respect any wishes for privacy, and support them in any way we can to provide a positive winning experience," said Mays.
The winning ticket was sold at the Speedway in Des Plaines, IL. The Lottery is encouraging everyone who bought a ticket from that retailer for last Friday's draw to check their ticket.
And if you weren't the lucky winner - there's always tonight's draw! The Mega Millions jackpot is $36 million for tonight's draw.
About the Illinois Lottery:
The Illinois Lottery has contributed over $23 billion (since 1985) to the State’s Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools and special causes like Illinois Veterans services, the fight against breast cancer, MS and Alzheimer’s research, Special Olympics, police memorials and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. For more information visit illinoislottery.com.
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