Largest lottery jackpot ever claimed in Illinois
By Todd Northrop
At the same time the latest Powerball jackpot run was stealing headlines, an Illinois couple was at Illinois Lottery headquarters, claiming the largest lottery jackpot ever won in the state.
Palos Heights resident Patricia Busking became the winner of the largest prize in Illinois Lottery history when the second line of numbers on her $5 Quick Pick ticket matched all six numbers in the Friday, August 11, Mega Millions drawing.
The winning numbers in that draw were 23, 33, 53, 56, and 58, with Mega Ball number 6.
Friday, at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago, Illinois Lottery officials presented Busking a $393 million ceremonial check to commemorate her history-making win.
Busking, a retired health care worker, and her husband, Joe, have lived in Palos Heights for 13 years. She was at home the morning after the drawing when Joe heard on the radio that the jackpot-winning Mega Millions ticket was purchased in Palos Heights. She rushed to check the winning numbers in the newspaper and was stunned to see that they matched the numbers on her ticket. She immediately signed the back of the ticket, becoming the single largest Mega Millions prize winner in Illinois Lottery history.
After spending a week consulting with family members and professional financial advisors, Busking was ready to come forward and claim her prize, which she opted to take as a one-time payment of $246 million. She plans to share the money with her family and friends, and donate to her favorite charities.
An occasional Mega Millions and Powerball player, Busking said she buys tickets when the jackpots are really high, and always buys Quick Picks. She bought her winning ticket at Nick's Barbecue, 12658 S. Harlem Ave., in Palos Heights, when she and Joe decided to stop there to buy steak sandwiches for dinner. "We were in the right place at the right time!"
Nick's Barbecue will receive a $500,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket. This jackpot is the fifth largest in Mega Millions history and rolled 29 times after it was previously won Friday, April 28.
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