On Friday night, a lottery player bought a Mega Millions lottery ticket at Speedway in Des Plaines, Illinois, and eventually hit the jackpot. Before the drawing began, the jackpot was estimated at around $1,28 billion, but it soared up to $1,337 billion.
According to U.S. government data, the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are one in 303 million. The probability was so thin that the odds were much higher than the one-in-a-million chance of getting struck by lightning.
As of this writing, the winner hasn’t come forward to claim the prize, but they have one year from the drawing to claim the prize. Moreover, the ticket holder will have the privilege of withholding their name from the public too.
“We’re eager to find out who won and look forward to congratulating the winner soon,” Ohio Lottery director Pat McDonald said.
While the public is waiting for the winner to claim the prize, it is also important to note that the winner will not be able to cash out the $1,337 billion all at once. This is because the jackpot is only available to those who choose the annuity option, so it will take over 29 years to get the prize annually.
There is an alternative option if the winner is willing to cash out their winnings at once, but the total amount will decrease to $780,5 million as Mega Millions estimated.
The winner must also pay a specified amount of tax on lottery winnings in the U.S. As a result, if the winner wants to get their prizes all at once, they must pay a substantial amount of tax. Furthermore, there is a chance that a group of people may purchase the winning ticket.
“We won’t know whether it’s an individual or if it’s a lottery pool until the winner comes forward to claim their prize,” Danielle Frizzi-Babb, a National Mega Millions spokeswoman, said.
The current win is the third one for Mega Millions. In October 2018, a ticket-holder who chose to keep their name hidden from the public won $1,586 billion. The second win was in January 2021, when a group of four people won the $1,05 billion prize.
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