$1.34B Mega Millions winner still hasn’t claimed prize after one month
It’s been one month since a lucky player won $1.34 billion in a Mega Millions jackpot — but the prizewinner still hasn’t claimed their fortune, lottery officials said Thursday.
The winning ticket from the July 29 drawing was sold at a Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, Illinois.
The massive jackpot marked the largest lottery prize ever won in Illinois, and the third largest lottery prize ever won in the US.
“For a prize of this magnitude, it’s not unusual for the winner to take a while to claim,” said Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays a week after the drawing. “I’m sure they’re going through a range of emotions.”
Illinois Mega Millions players that take home jackpots over $250,000 have the option to stay anonymous, but Mays speculated that the winner might not even know they hold the jaw-dropping ticket.
The winner can wait one full year to claim the money, but they only have 60 days from the date of the draw to decide if they want to be paid $1.34 billion over the course of 29 years or a lump sum of $780 million cash.
Speedway Des Plaines, the retailer who sold the winning ticket last month, is also entitled to a cash bonus of $500,000.