Two Illinois lottery winners in a partnership claim $1.34 billion Mega Millions jackpot

Sep 21, 2022, 3:58 pm (26 comments)

Mega Millions

Winners split behemoth win within timeframe to claim cash prize

By Kate Northrop

CHICAGO, Ill. — Two winners in a partnership have come forward to claim the eye-watering $1.34 billion Mega Millions jackpot that was drawn in July 2022.

One single ticket was all it took to win the record $1.34 billion Mega Millions jackpot on July 29, 2022, but two people jointly stepped forward to claim it all.

Today, the Illinois Lottery announced that the prize has officially been claimed, shared by a partnership that agreed to split the winnings if won, and they kept their billion-dollar promise.

"I've been working for the Illinois Lottery for over five years, and this is by far the largest prize I've ever had to process," Illinois Lottery Claims Manager Luis Rodriguez said in a press release. "When we met with the winners' lawyers there was a real buzz of excitement in the room," said Rodriguez.

With Illinois allowing winners of $250,000 to remain anonymous, the two ticketholders predictably opted not to give out their names, and it is very likely we won't find out their identities anytime soon. Rodriguez was there to support the winners and their legal representatives during the claim process.

"It's a surreal feeling giving away this amount of money and knowing what a huge impact this is going to make on the winners' lives, and for others close to them as well," Rodriguez continued. "It was an incredible feeling just to be part of that process — so I can only imagine how the winners themselves are feeling."

While the Illinois Lottery cannot share any information about the winners, they did say that they must be absolutely "over the moon" with their win.

The partners claimed the prize just before a major deadline that would have prevented them from claiming it as a cash option. Had they waited until Sept. 27, 2022, less than a week away, they would have only had the option to claim the prize as an annuity.

In Illinois, Mega Millions winners get one year from the draw date to claim their prize, but only as an annuity. The prize can only be claimed as a lump sum within 60 days.

But nearly eight weeks after the historic drawing, it's no longer a topic of conversation. Instead, they're likely focused on what they're going to do with an unimaginable amount of money.

"These winners are now in the enviable position of deciding what to do with their newfound fortune," Lottery Director Harold Mays noted. "They stopped into the Speedway in Des Plaines and grabbed a Mega Millions ticket while they were there. That turned out to be an absolutely life changing decision when a $3 line of Mega Millions with Megaplier turned into a $1.34 billion jackpot win."

Over the past few weeks, the two winners have been busy working with a team consisting of professional legal and financial advisors in preparation for the claim.

They chose to take the lump sum payment of $780.5 million. According to USA Mega, their net payout will be about $453.12 million after taxes.

During the jackpot roll, which lasted for 29 drawings without a winner between April 16 and July 29, the state of Illinois also came out on top, having generated $34 million for the Common School Fund through Mega Millions sales.

Retailers were paid a collective $3.75 million in commissions and bonuses for selling winning tickets, and there were over 1.4 million winning tickets in Illinois totaling $11.8 million in prizes, excluding the jackpot, including four players who won $1 million.

The next Mega Millions drawing will take place on Fri., Sept. 23 at 11:00 pm EST for a jackpot of $301 million. The Powerball jackpot is not far behind, sitting at $251 million for the drawing on Wed., Sept. 21 at 10:59 pm EST.

Lottery Post Staff

Comments

noise-gate

* Enjoy your wealth!

scorpio45

was it a QUICK PICK,they hide that so no one knows if it was rigged by lottery?

Todd's avatarTodd

Quote: Originally posted by scorpio45 on Sep 21, 2022

was it a QUICK PICK,they hide that so no one knows if it was rigged by lottery?

So are you among those who feel that lottery winners should never be allowed to remain anonymous?

Edit: I'm not saying this opinion is valid or invalid, just trying to understand.

Mata Garbo

Big Win!!!!! 453 million or $226 million each. I wonder if either one will want to argue over the loose change.

Congrats guys or gals.

😅🥳🦸‍♀️🇺🇸

fellini

Anonymous because they are afraid they won't be able to say NO.

MsBee18

I'm afraid to report the partner to receive the highest share of the jackpot is Uncle Sam the tax man.

cottoneyedjoe's avatarcottoneyedjoe

I bet it's siblings. Congrats to the mystery pair, whoever they are.

PrisonerSix

Congratulations to them and I wish them well.

Hard to believe $1.3billion after cash option and taxes is reduced to $453million. Split 2 ways that's still a lot of money.

Hopefully they'll be smart and keep quiet about it and not go to crazy with the money.

Todd's avatarTodd

Mata Garbo, you should have left that comment.  I was just replying to it when you deleted it.  I think you're right and I read scorpio45's comment wrong.  I thought by "they hide" to mean the winners hiding their identities, while it seems scorpio45 meant the lottery was hiding whether or not it was a quick pick.

Sorry I read it wrong.

I don't think the lottery is hiding it.  May we can reach out to the Illinois Lottery to find out, and we'll update the story if we do.

DrMiracle

Quote: Originally posted by scorpio45 on Sep 21, 2022

was it a QUICK PICK,they hide that so no one knows if it was rigged by lottery?

Wake up!! Its 2022. You sound like 2020.

Mata Garbo

Quote: Originally posted by Todd on Sep 21, 2022

So are you among those who feel that lottery winners should never be allowed to remain anonymous?

Edit: I'm not saying this opinion is valid or invalid, just trying to understand.

Todd........I could be wrong, but I don't think he was questioning the right of the winners to claim their prize anonymously. I think he was wondering why the Lottery Officials did not mention whether the ticket was the winner's own personal numbers or computer generated numbers. He was implying that the reason that was not in the story is because the officials hid that fact since they "rigged" the results. Maybe I am way off base but that's what i interpreted from the comment.

🙂........EDIT......No problem Todd. Thanks for the very prompt response.

mypiemaster's avatarmypiemaster

Quote: Originally posted by MsBee18 on Sep 21, 2022

I'm afraid to report the partner to receive the highest share of the jackpot is Uncle Sam the tax man.

You can say that again. Uncle Sam is even an UNINVITED PARTNER. Lottery winnings should never be taxed. We work and we pay taxes. We play with already taxed income, we win and we shouldn't  be taxed because if we lose, they don't refund us our money. 

mypiemaster's avatarmypiemaster

Reading this entire story gives me charley horse. On one level, it feels so good and on another level, it hurts so bad. LOTTERY WINNINGS SHOULD NEVER BE TAXED.

TheMeatman2005's avatarTheMeatman2005

Quote: Originally posted by scorpio45 on Sep 21, 2022

was it a QUICK PICK,they hide that so no one knows if it was rigged by lottery?

Until about six months ago, the New York State Lottery used to post if the first prize winning ticket was a QUICK PICK or REGULAR (OWN NUMBERS).

I wrote and asked why they don't make the distinction any longer. 

The reply I received said that because of "SECURITY ISSUES" they don't do it any more.

I couldn't think of any security issue where it would matter if the public knew if the ticket was a quick pick or if the winner chose their own numbers.

wander73's avatarwander73

Just the title sounds ridiculous.   Joint partnership.

Todd's avatarTodd

Quote: Originally posted by TheMeatman2005 on Sep 22, 2022

Until about six months ago, the New York State Lottery used to post if the first prize winning ticket was a QUICK PICK or REGULAR (OWN NUMBERS).

I wrote and asked why they don't make the distinction any longer. 

The reply I received said that because of "SECURITY ISSUES" they don't do it any more.

I couldn't think of any security issue where it would matter if the public knew if the ticket was a quick pick or if the winner chose their own numbers.

That is astonishing.  I can't think of a single excuse (including security-related issues) for not releasing that info.

ErikB14's avatarErikB14

I can't agree more with you 👏👏... America's tax abuse should stop immediately!!!

db101's avatardb101

Quote: Originally posted by wander73 on Sep 22, 2022

Just the title sounds ridiculous.   Joint partnership.

What's ridiculous about it?

dickblow

good luck to them wow

EnReval

Splitting is good and sounds like they kept their word.

 

A sibling asked to split, they gave number but no $$

Ranett's avatarRanett

Good luck to the partnership.

Bleudog101

I agree wholeheartedly that winners should be exempt from Federal taxes.

 

What gets me, since I've been on both end of the spectrum is the disparity in taxation.   When I win over $600 on the lottery, have to pay taxes end of the year.   At the casino anything over $1199 then it gets taxed.   Of course with the latter you can tell them 'No Federal taxes'.   State is mandatory.  I've always said take the taxes and be done with it.   Not sure however if and when Federal taxes taken out are mandatory on high limit wins?

 

The casino lobbyists have tried through IL and NV Fed. Congressmen and I believe more states jumped in to change the Federal taxes to $5K and above.  Not sure where that went.    As mentioned before, could not find any lottery lobbyists!

Folks do realize that NV Constitution forbids any kind of lottery...where did that come from?   LOL!

wander73's avatarwander73

Quote: Originally posted by db101 on Sep 22, 2022

What's ridiculous about it?

Sounds fake

rdgrnr's avatarrdgrnr

I wonder if they would let you remain anonymous to men but give single women your number?

Stack47

The lottery selling the jackpot winning ticket could say whether it was a QP or self pick and not effect the anonymity of winners. But those wanting more info can't have it both ways; can't get back stories from jackpot winners when winners claim anonymously.

winterhug

Quote: Originally posted by scorpio45 on Sep 21, 2022

was it a QUICK PICK,they hide that so no one knows if it was rigged by lottery?

scorpio45 your comment sounds ridiculous. Just because a winner chooses to remain anonymous YOU think the draw was rigged by the lottery. Where have you been? It is just too dangerous for people to show their faces as winners of a lottery. It is unfortunate that non anonymous states don't realize this. The state of Georgia passed their anonyminity law back in 2018, because too my of their lottery winners coming forward were being targeted by criminals. Several years ago, a 59 year old Georgia man was beaten to death and laying in the middle of the roadway just days after coming forward as the winner of a 17K scatch off ticket.

End of comments
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