CHICAGO (AP) — A single ticket purchased in a Chicago suburb beat the odds and won a $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot.
According to megamillions.com, there was a jackpot-winning ticket in Friday night’s draw, and it was purchased at a Speedway gas station and convenience store in Des Plaines.
The winning numbers were: 13-36-45-57-67, Mega Ball: 14.
“We are thrilled to have witnessed one of the biggest jackpot wins in Mega Millions history,” said Ohio Lottery Manager Pat McDonald, current Senior Manager of the Mega Millions Consortium. in a statement posted on the lottery’s website. “We can’t wait to find out who won and we look forward to congratulating the winner soon!”
The jackpot was the third largest lottery prize in the country. It became so important because no one had matched the game’s six selected numbers since April 15. That’s 29 consecutive draws without a jackpot winner.
Lottery officials had estimated the winning take at $1.28 billion, but revised the figure to $1.337 billion on Saturday.
The total prize is for winners who choose the annuity option, paid annually over 29 years. Most winners opt for the cash option, which for Friday night’s draw was estimated at $780.5 million.
The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302.5 million.
According to the Illinois Lottery, the store that sold the ticket is also a big winner. he will receive half a million dollars just for the sale of the ticket. A Speedway store employee who answered the phone but declined to give his name said the store was not officially notified that he had sold the winning ticket and that he was told by reporters calling to comments.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as Washington, DC and the US Virgin Islands. The game is coordinated by state lotteries.
Illinois is among the states where winners over $250,000 can choose not to reveal their name and Illinois Lottery spokeswoman Emilia Mazur said the vast majority of those winners do exactly that.
Even lottery officials may not know for a while who won, because winners don’t have to come forward right away. And the winning ticket may have been purchased by a group of people.
“We won’t know if it’s an individual or a lottery pool until the winner shows up to claim their prize,” National Mega Millions spokeswoman Danielle Frizzi said. -Babb.
Saturday afternoon, no winner had come forward, according to Mazur.
Emily Irwin, managing director, advice and planning, at Wells Fargo’s Wealth & Investment Management, said on Friday the winner should consider keeping a low profile and resisting a frowning spending spree that everyone knows the winner won’t. can’t afford.
“Now is not the time to start calling everyone you know, saying, ‘Hey, I have a big secret. Can you keep it? “Said Irwin.
This is necessary to avoid being inundated with requests for money.
“There are scam artists and others who follow the big winners,” she said, admitting that sudden wealth can put a lottery winner in physical danger.
“Privacy is synonymous with security,” she said.
One thing the winner must do immediately is sign the ticket. That’s because if the ticket wasn’t signed, it really isn’t yours. If the winner loses an unsigned ticket and someone else finds and signs it, the ticket is now theirs.
Irwin suggests one more step to surviving a legal battle over ownership.
“Take a Polaroid of you holding it and (put) it in a safe or some other safe place,” she said.
Pratik Patel, manager of family wealth strategies at BMO Family Office in Chicago, said the winner should work with a financial planner to plan for their future.
“I would do a Monte Carlo market simulation,” Patel said, explaining that it’s an analysis of what a winner’s annual income might be and what the proceeds of various investments might be. . “What you’re doing is using analytics to inform your spending.”
Frizzi-Babb agrees that talking to a financial planner is a good idea.
“I would suggest you do this before you even set foot in a lottery office,” she said.
An expert who has worked with past lottery winners says winners should avoid going to the lottery office, instead sending a lawyer or financial adviser to preserve their anonymity – if lottery officials allow it .
“There will be people who will do whatever they can to determine who is the winner,” said Kim Kamin, who was a trusts and estates lawyer for 17 years and now teaches estate planning at the law school of Northwestern University. “There will be many eyes watching.”
There’s also a question no one wants to answer right now: what happens to the money when you die?
Irwin said not to leave this unanswered; you must take steps to ensure that the bulk of your estate goes to your beneficiaries rather than the government.
“You need a manager who specializes in this area and understands this world,” Patel said. “Someone who makes $60,000 a year may need some type of professional manager and may want to move up to someone who makes ultra wealth.”
Whatever the winner does, it’s important to do it slowly.
“You can absolutely indulge yourself, but let’s be smart,” Patel said. “It’s a lot of money, but until you know what you can afford, there are still limits.”
For example, he said, consider chartering a private jet before diving in and buying one.
“You might be interested in owning your favorite basketball team,” he warned, “but it might not be a good idea if it’s using up all your money.”
Don Babwin, Associated Press