Two people claim $1.3 billion Mega Millions jackpot

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Two unbelievably lucky people in the US have hit the jackpot (literally) after bagging a cool amount of money in the Mega Millions lottery.

The pair, who wish to remain anonymous, have claimed the winnings after buying the ticket at a petrol station in Des Plaines, Illinois on 29 July.

When they purchased the luxury ticket in the suburb of Chicago, the pair agreed to split the winnings if they won which, ultimately, they ended up doing.

Lottery officials said on Wednesday (21 September), the pair decided against taking the full $1.337 billion jackpot over 29 years in favour of having a $780.5 million lump sum payment – meaning they’ll have won roughly $390 million each after splitting it.

Doesn’t seem too shabby to me!

Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays (right) and Illinois Lottery Claims Supervisor, Denise Hernandez with the jackpot prize. Credit: Illinois Lottery
Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays (right) and Illinois Lottery Claims Supervisor, Denise Hernandez with the jackpot prize. Credit: Illinois Lottery

The pair had to claim their winnings within 60 days of the draw to choose their preferred payment package, so they were cutting it fine.

Illinois Lottery were unable to provide many details on the victorious pair, but did say they must be ‘over the moon’ with winning the jackpot.

In a press release, Illinois Lottery Claims Manager Luis Rodriguez said: “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.

“When we met with the winners’ lawyers there was a real buzz of excitement in the room.”

He continued: “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.

“It was an incredible feeling just to be part of that process – so I can only imagine how the winners themselves are feeling.”

Meanwhile, Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays added: “These winners are now in the enviable position of deciding what to do with their newfound fortune.”

Lottery officials said the two people have spent the last few weeks working on their claim with professional legal and financial advisors – something bosses advised to the lucky winners before they claimed.

You may be wondering why the jackpot is so big – well, the jackpot grew so large as no one had matched the six selected numbers in a draw since 15 April, making it 29 consecutive draws since anyone won the jackpot.

The winning numbers from the 29 July draw were: 13, 36, 45, 57, 67, with a Mega Ball of 14.

Mega Millions draws take place across the US. Credit: REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo
Mega Millions draws take place across the US. Credit: REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo

Not only are the now two rich pair coming out of the jackpot draw with changed lives, the retailer that sold the ticket also receives a hefty benefit of $500,000 cash.

The jackpot ticket was sold at the petrol station Speedway Des Plaines, speaking shortly after the draw had been made, Michael Browning, Regional Director for the petrol station said: “Nothing makes us happier than bringing a little bit of joy to our customers’ lives – or in this case, a whole lot of joy!” 

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