Winning ticket for $1.34 billion lottery jackpot sold in Des Plaines
Illinois Lottery officials said it’s the largest prize in state history, and the second-biggest pot ever in the U.S.
The second-most valuable lottery ticket in U.S. history was sold at a northwest suburban gas station, officials announced Saturday.
The winning numbers for the $1.34 billion Mega Millions jackpot were printed out at the Speedway at 885 E. Touhy Ave. in Des Plaines, according to the Illinois Lottery — the biggest prize in state history.
The ticket was initially tabbed at $1.28 billion, but last-minute sales for the Friday night drawing raised the total to $1.34 billion, Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays said at a Saturday morning news conference in the Loop.
“We have not heard from the winner yet. We don’t know whether or not they even know that they won the prize, so I encourage everybody to check your ticket,” Mays said.
The billion-dollar code? 13-36-45-57-67, Mega Ball: 14.
While the giant pots are occasionally split among multiple winners, officials confirmed the Illinois winner will take the entire prize. The massive windfall had built up over 29 draws without a winner dating back to April.
The odds to win were one in 302.5 million, meaning you’d be about 300 times more likely to be struck by lightning, according to federal estimates.
Lottery officials encouraged the winner “to sign the back of the ticket, seek professional and legal advice, then make an appointment with the Illinois Lottery to claim their prize.”
The winner, who can remain anonymous, has a year to claim the prize, but only 60 days to choose between a lump sum payout — which amounts to about $780 million — or annual annuities totaling $1.34 billion after about three decades.
The Des Plaines gas station will receive a half-million dollar bonus for selling the winning ticket.
Contributing: Associated Press