Just one ticket purchased in a Chicago suburb has led to a win of $1.337 billion in the Mega Millions lottery jackpot.
The single ticket was purchased at a Speedway gas station on the 29th of July at a convenience store in Des Plaines.
Megamillions.com said there was just one jackpot-winning ticket in the draw. The winning numbers were 13-36-45-57-67, Mega ball 14.
Ohio Lottery Director and lead director for the Mega Millions Consortium said, “We’re thrilled to have witnessed one of the biggest jackpots wins in Mega Millions history. We’re eager to find out who won and look forward to congratulating the winner soon!”
The jackpot had become so big because there had been no match on the selected numbers since April 15. It became the nation’s third-largest lottery prize. In total there were 29 consecutive draws without a jackpot winner.
The winner is given two options either an annuity for over 29 years or cash. Winners usually go for the cash option which for the July 29th draw would be an estimated $780.5 million.
The odds of winning the jackpot are one in 302.5 million.
In fact its not just the winner who benefits but the store that sold the winning ticket too. Illinois Lottery said that the Speedway store will receive half a million dollars just for selling the ticket.
A clerk at the store who answered the phone but declined to give his name said the store had not been officially notified yet.
Currently the Mega Millions lottery is played in 45 states and the game is coordinated by state lotteries. In Illinois, if a winner wins more than $250,000 he can choose not to reveal his/her name.
Sometimes the winning ticket is bought by a group of people.
In an AP report, Fargo’s Wealth and Investment management advice & planning division managing director Emily Irwin said that the winner should resist going on an eyebrow-raising spending spree.
“This is not the time to start calling everybody you know saying, Hey, I have a big secret. Can you keep it? This is necessary to avoid being inundated with requests for money. There are scammers and others who follow big winners,” she said, cautioning that sudden wealth can put a lottery winner in physical danger.
“Privacy equals safety,” she added.
Head of Family Wealth Strategies at BMO Family Office in Chicago said the winner should work with a financial planner to map out their future.
“You can absolutely indulge but let’s be smart about it. It’s a lot of money but until you figure out what you can afford, there are still limitations. For example consider chartering a private jet before diving in and buying one. You may be interested in owning your favourite basketball team but maybe that isn’t a good idea if it uses up all your money,” he said.