October 2, 2022


No, the Illinois winner of the $1.34 billion Mega Millions lottery ticket sold July 29 in suburban Des Plaines has not yet come forward.

“For a prize of this magnitude, it’s not unusual for the winner to take a while to claim,” Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays Mays previously said in a statement. “I’m sure they’re going through a range of emotions.”

And while that person has 12 months to do so — and can remain anonymous if they so choose, according to Illinois Lottery Officials — a more pressing deadline is coming up: How to get paid.

According to Illinois Lottery’s Winner’s Handbook, “Lotto, Mega Millions and Powerball winners have 60 days after the date of the drawing to choose the cash option or annual payments.”

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

“Failure to choose a payment option within the 60-day time period will automatically result in annuity payments,”

As of Sept. 1, the clock is ticking. The winner now has only 26 days to decide.

According to Illinois Lottery officials, the corporate gas station chain will receive a half-million dollar bonus for selling the winning ticket.


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