The $1.3 billion Mega Millions jackpot still hasn’t been claimed almost one month after the drawing.
Someone purchased a winning ticket at a Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, Ill., just outside of Chicago.
You’d think claiming a prize that big would be at the top of most people’s to-do list. However, an Illinois lottery official said this isn’t that unusual.
“For a prize of this magnitude, it’s not unusual for the winner to take a while to claim,” Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays. “I’m sure they’re going through a range of emotions.”
Yes, they’ve been experiencing a range of emotions from excitement to more excitement.
That is if they’re even aware that they won.
Mays suggested that the person who holds the winning ticket may not realize it.
The Clock Is Ticking For The Mega Millions Winner
We may never know the winner’s identity even after they claim the jackpot. Illinois allows those who win jackpots greater than $250,000 to remain anonymous.
The jackpot is the biggest Illinois has ever seen and the third-biggest in United States history. The winner has one year to claim it, however, they only have 60 days if they want to choose how they receive the money. They can choose $1.34 billion over 29 years or a lump sum payment of $780 million.
According to the Illinois Lottery WInners’ Handbook, if the prize isn’t claimed within 60 days, it will default to the annuity option.
Anyone who frequents the Speedway in Des Plaines probably has a pit in their stomach right now. That or they’re combing through their car, pockets, and trash hoping to find a winning ticket they misplaced.
If the money isn’t claimed within one year, it will be given back to the state lotteries that contributed to it.
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