Ticket bought in Illinois wins the $1.28 billion Mega Millions jackpot

CHICAGO – Someone in suburban Chicago has beat all the odds and won the $1.28 billion Mega Millions jackpot.

According to megamillions.com, Friday night’s drawing featured a jackpot ticket 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 witness one of the largest jackpot wins in Mega Millions history,” Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald, the current Principal Director of the Mega Millions Consortium, said in a statement on the lottery’s website. “We are excited to see who won and look forward to congratulating the winner soon!”

The jackpot was the nation’s third largest lottery win. It got so big because no one had picked the game’s six chosen numbers since April 15th. That’s 29 consecutive draws without a jackpot winner.

The $1.28 billion prize is for winners who choose the annuity option, which is paid annually over 29 years. Most winners are opting for the cash option, which was an estimated $747.2 million for Friday night’s drawing.

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 pretty big winner; it will get half a million dollars just for selling the ticket. A speedway store clerk who answered the phone but refused to give his name said the store was not officially notified that he had sold the winning ticket and that he learned about it from reporters who were around a would have asked for comment.

Mega Millions is played in 45 states plus Washington, DC and the US Virgin Islands. The game is coordinated by state lotteries.

Illinois is among the states where winners of more than $250,000 can choose not to reveal their names, and Camelot Illinois spokeswoman Emilia Mazur said the vast majority of those winners do just that.

Even lottery officials may not know who won for a while since winners are not required to report immediately. And the winning ticket may have been bought by a group of people.

“We won’t know if it’s an individual or a lottery until the winner comes forward to claim their prize,” said National Mega Millions spokeswoman Danielle Frizzi-Babb.

Emily Irwin, managing director, advice & planning, at Wells Fargo’s Wealth & Investment Management said Friday that the winner should consider holding back and resisting a spending spree that everyone knows the winner can’t afford.

“This is not the time to call everyone you know and say, ‘Hey, I have a big secret. Can you keep it?’” Irwin said.

This is necessary in order not to be inundated with demands for money.

“There are scammers and others who follow big winners,” she said, admitting that sudden wealth can put a lottery winner in physical danger.

“Privacy equals security,” she said.

One thing that the winner must do immediately is sign the ticket. Because if the ticket hasn’t been signed, it really doesn’t belong to you. If the winner loses an unsigned ticket and someone else finds it and signs it, the ticket is now theirs.

Irwin suggests taking it a step further to surviving a legal battle over ownership.

“Take a Polaroid of yours and put it in a locker or some other safe place,” she said.

Pratik Patel, the head of Family Wealth Strategies at BMO Family Office in Chicago, said the winner should work with a financial planner to plan their future.

“I would do a Monte Carlo market simulation,” Patel said, explaining that this is an analysis of what a winner’s annual income might be and what the proceeds from 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 that you do this before you even enter a lottery office,” said the national lottery spokeswoman.

There’s also a question no one wants to answer at this point: what happens to the money when you die?

Irwin said don’t leave that unanswered; You must take steps to ensure that the majority of your wealth goes to your beneficiaries and not to the government.

“You need a manager who specializes in that and understands this world,” Patel said. “Someone making $60,000 a year might need a certain type of professional manager, and they might want to move to someone who’s doing 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 figure out what you can afford, there are still limitations.”

For example, he said you should consider chartering a private jet before boarding and buying one.

“You may be interested in owning your favorite basketball team,” he warned, “but maybe that’s not a good idea if it’s going to use up all your money.”

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