Mega Millions winner has yet to claim $1.3 billion prize

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The man who won this year’s $1.3 billion Mega Million lottery hasn’t claimed the jackpot nearly a month after the ticket was sold.

An unidentified man purchased a winning ticket at the Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, Illinois. This is the U.S. Has the third largest single win and second largest Mega Million prize in lottery history. Lottery officials said they are still waiting to hear from the winner.

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“We don’t know if they even know they won the prize,” Illinois Lottery director Harold Mays told The Guardian on Friday. “So, I encourage everyone to check their tickets.”

According to lottery rules Mega Millions winners have one year from the drawing date to claim their prize. Winners also have 60 days to choose whether they want a lump sum or small annual payments.

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The winner does not claim the prize, each state participating in the Mega Millions lottery will get its share returned as per the rules of the contest. Mega Millions operates in 45 states as well as Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Played in the Virgin Islands. The game is coordinated by state lotteries.

For a two-week period last month, Mega Millions captured the nation’s attention as pot eclipsed the $1 billion mark. The frenzy prompted the CEO of restaurant chain Rising Cane to buy 50,000 tickets and pledge to split the pot among his workers if they won. The Mega Millions website soon crashed when the winning numbers came out.

Lottery officials said it was unclear why the winner did not claim their prize, but it is also not unheard of.

“For a prize of this magnitude, it is not unusual for a winner to take some time to claim it,” Mays said in a statement earlier this month. “I’m sure they’re going through a lot of different emotions.”

The unknown winner isn’t the only one who has cashed in from winning Mega Million. Lottery officials said earlier this month that retailers in Illinois made $3.75 million in commissions and bonuses from selling tickets. The New York Post reported that the speedway that sold the winning ticket would receive a $500,000 bonus.

Mega Millions had the biggest jackpot ever in 2018 at $1.5 billion, with the winning ticket sold in South Carolina. The next largest Mega Million prize was $1 billion in 2021.

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