After the winning $1.34 billion Mega Millions lottery ticket was purchased at a suburban gas station in Des Plaines, many were left wondering who exactly won the jackpot.
Now, the individuals have come to claim their prize– but are choosing to remain anonymous.
What we do know is that the prize was shared by two individuals who agreed to split the prize if they won. The Illinois Lottery said in a statement that “the winners wish to remain anonymous.” The Illinois Lottery is not able to share any information about the winners– but did mention that they are over the moon with their Mega Millions win.
The Illinois Lottery allows winners to request anonymity if the prize is greater than $250,000, which definitely applies in this case.
The corporate gas station chain Speedway, where the winning ticket was purchased (885 E. Touhy Ave.) is set to receive a half-million dollar bonus for selling the winning ticket.
It was getting down to the wire, after weeks-long speculation over what could happen if the winner never stepped forward and the prize went unclaimed.
As for what would happen if nobody claimed the winning ticket within an allotted 12-month timeframe, then each state that participated in the lottery would then receive all the money it contributed to the unclaimed jackpot back.
Now, the last piece of the puzzle is to decide how the winners want to receive their money. There’s the annuity option in which the $1.337 billion prize could be paid annually over a period of 29 years, or if the winner opts for a lump sum payment, they will receive an estimated $780.5 million.
The Illinois Lottery said that the winners have spent the last few weeks working with a team of legal and financial advisors and have opted to take the lump sum payment.
Congratulations to the winners, whoever you are!
[Featured photo via: Shutterstock]