Someone in the US became a billionaire after Friday’s Mega Millions lottery but we may never know the identity of the lucky winner or winners.
The Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, Illinois sold a ticket matching the winning numbers – 13, 36, 45, 57 and 67 plus Mega Ball 14. The buyer won a $1.34 billion prize paid over 29 years but could also opt for the cash jackpot – $780.5 million. The gas station that sold the prize will also receive a bonus of $500,000.
As of Monday, the winner has not stepped forward and it’s a good possibility we won’t know their identity when they do. Illinois is one of a handful of states that allows people who earn more than $250,000 to keep their name and city of residence secret.
“We have not heard from the winner yet,” Harold Mays, director of the Illinois lottery, said according to Today. “We don’t know whether or not they’re aware they’ve won this incredible prize. So we’re telling all of our players — check your tickets.”
Mays said winners often take their time before coming forward.
“We’ve seen it — the players tend to take more time because they want one to make sure that they get their affairs in order and sort of go about again and hopefully a strategic way for them and their family,” he added.
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Mega Million winners have 12 months from the date of the drawing to claim their prize but only 60 days to choose between the lump sum cash payout or annual amount.
The $1.37 billion prize was the second largest jackpot in the 20-year history of the game, topped only by the $1.537 billion won in South Carolina on Oct. 23, 2018. The jackpot had been rolling since it was last won at $20 million in Tennessee on April 15.
Other winning tickets sold Friday include $2 million prizes in Florida, Arkansas, Iowa, and Pennsylvania, and 20 second-tier prizes worth $1 million each: two each in Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas; and one each in California, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.