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Illinois man claims $265 million Mega Millions lottery jackpot

Feb 24, 2015, 5:23 pm

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Years of playing Quick Pick tickets every day paid off for 70-year-old Jesus Davila Jr. in January when he won $265 million — the largest prize in Illinois Lottery history.

"I'm a regular Joe and I played and I won it," said Davila, as he smiled at a news conference Tuesday in the Thompson Center downtown, where Illinois Lottery Director Michael Jones presented him with an oversized check.

Davila, who lives in Naperville, won the Mega Millions jackpot on Jan. 16 and was the only person to match all six numbers.

Robert Kohlt, a spokesman for the family, said that Davila watched the lottery drawing on television and thought he had only matched the first five numbers of his $5 Quick Pick bought at a Glendale Heights Bucky's Express. It was his son who broke the news that he had matched all six numbers —  26, 32, 44, 45, and 58, with Mega Ball number 11.

"My son said, 'You have every number here, dad' and then we started shouting, 'We're millionaires, we're millionaires,'" Davila told lottery officials.

The retired professional driver, who moved to the United States from Puerto Rico more than six decades ago, decided to wait before claiming the prize, using the time to consult with family members and financial advisers. Two weeks ago, he took the winning ticket to a Illinois Lottery Prize Center in Des Plaines.

Davila had a year to claim the prize but only 60 days to decide whether he wanted the money over 30 years or as a one-time payment. He took the latter and will be given nearly $127 million after federal and state tax withholdings. With one-time cash options, the Illinois Lottery also keeps 25 percent of the prize.

Gayle Wojciechowski, director of operations of Bucky's Express stores in the Chicago area, said the stores were very happy about the win, especially employees at the Glendale Heights store where Davila got his ticket. This is not the first time a customer at one of the stores has won the lottery — but nothing compares to this year's jackpot, Wojciechowski said.

Bucky's Expressed received a $500,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

The big prize will not keep Davila out of the game, though. He'll keep playing the lottery.

"He'll continue to play every day, he loves the lottery," Kohlt said.

For now, Davila plans to share the money with family — four adult children and four grandchildren — and buy a "big house with a really big lawn" with a riding lawn mower, Kholt said.

Davila's jackpot is the largest prize ever given to an individual, surpassing the record $218.6 million Merle Butler from Red Bud, Ill., won in 2012.

News story photo(Click to display full-size in gallery)

Chicago Tribune

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26 comments. Last comment 7 years ago by BellasBMWLucki.
Page 1 of 2
Avatar
California
United States
Member #141198
April 7, 2013
280 Posts
Offline

Congrats to the winner.

    Original Bey's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg

    Bahamas
    Member #133456
    September 30, 2012
    7141 Posts
    Online

    Hope he lives another 2 decades to enjoy his win-fall with his family. Never count yourself out no matter how old you are.

     

    Lady Luck wears a blindfold when she waves her wand!

     

    Congrats!

    "Do everything you can. Then, leave the rest to luck."

      ThatScaryChick's avatar - giphy11resized
      Idaho
      United States
      Member #56504
      November 21, 2007
      7880 Posts
      Offline

      Congrats to Jesus Davila on his big win! Smile

      "twitter - youtube - steam - instagram"

      ThatScaryChick

        plumsage's avatar - rinard
        north carolina
        United States
        Member #132453
        September 4, 2012
        328 Posts
        Offline

        Very happy for him and his family.  Smart of him to consult a financial advisor before claiming his winnings.

          Saylorgirl's avatar - Lottery-065.jpg
          Indiana
          United States
          Member #129219
          June 13, 2012
          595 Posts
          Offline

          Congratulations to the winner and his family!  The lotteries are busy this week passing out those big checks!

            maringoman's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcTbRxpKQmOfcCoUqF2FyqIOAwDo7rg9G-lfJLAALPGWJWwiz19eRw
            Massachusetts
            United States
            Member #37432
            April 14, 2006
            2747 Posts
            Offline

            Puerto Rico seems connected with big jackpots in 2015. Any LP member from there should give us some lines so we too can win Big Grin

            Congratulations sir. I'm thinking you will not be spending too many winters in Chicago going forward

            That money's gone fo ever

              dallascowboyfan's avatar - chi
              Oklahoma
              United States
              Member #82389
              November 12, 2009
              6374 Posts
              Offline

              Congratulations Mr. Davila Thumbs Up

              I Love Pink & Green 1908

                gocart1's avatar - lighthouse
                ONEONTA,NEW YORK
                United States
                Member #30515
                January 17, 2006
                447 Posts
                Offline

                ENJOYPartyUS FlagParty

                  duckman's avatar - ducklogodrake64x64
                  Jacksonville Florida
                  United States
                  Member #23017
                  October 6, 2005
                  1103 Posts
                  Offline

                  His winning "system" is .......... Quick Picks!

                    Avatar

                    United States
                    Member #31635
                    February 1, 2006
                    264 Posts
                    Offline

                    What's up with this.

                    The feds and state get their share and now the lottery wants their share.
                    "With one-time cash options, the Illinois Lottery also keeps 25 percent of the prize."

                      Original Bey's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg

                      Bahamas
                      Member #133456
                      September 30, 2012
                      7141 Posts
                      Online

                      What's up with this.

                      The feds and state get their share and now the lottery wants their share.
                      "With one-time cash options, the Illinois Lottery also keeps 25 percent of the prize."

                      I think that refers to the Federal withholding. The way it was worded gives the impression that it's an additional 25%

                      "Do everything you can. Then, leave the rest to luck."

                        HaveABall's avatar - rocket

                        United States
                        Member #72446
                        March 18, 2009
                        1391 Posts
                        Offline

                        Congratulations Mr. Davila!  Why keep playing lottery games daily when you know you and your family don't need the jackpot or 2nd prize?

                        Having several millions of dollars in my financial accounts means receiving several valuable services each day!

                        Disney

                          Avatar

                          United States
                          Member #163988
                          February 15, 2015
                          101 Posts
                          Offline

                          Way to Go!  Kept quiet; consulted financial advisers; turned in the ticket; then went public.  See Ya!  I hope he reaches 100 and still has millions. Wink


                            United States
                            Member #122685
                            February 6, 2012
                            368 Posts
                            Offline

                            Sweet, congratulations, kind of sucks that he won so late in life, but hey, at least he will have a great rest of his life now...hopefully.