Winners of $1.3B Mega Millions drawing claim prize, remain anonymous

The winners of a $1.3 billion Mega Millions lottery drawing in July have come forward to claim their prize, but are choosing to remain anonymous.

Illinois Lottery officials reported Wednesday the winners - two people who had agreed to split the prize - had claimed the jackpot almost two months since the winning numbers were announced.

The pair selected the lump-sum payment, which reduces the jackpot to $780.5 million after taxes, instead of a 30-year annuity.

Lottery officials said the two winners were "over the moon" about their winnings.

"These winners are now in the enviable position of deciding what to do with their newfound fortune," Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays said.

This was the third-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history, and the second-highest Mega Millions jackpot since a $1.5 billion 2018 prize was claimed by a single anonymous player in South Carolina.

Illinois is one of just a few states that allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.

In 2017, a Palos Heights woman came forward to claim a $393 million Mega Millions jackpot. It was the last time an Illinois winner chose to identify themselves.

In the 21-year history of the Mega Millions drawing, Illinois residents have won or shared the jackpot 13 times.

Including July's winners, the 13 Illinois jackpots combined for a total of $2.9 billion in prize money, according to Mega Millions historical records on the lottery's website.

July's winning ticket was sold at a Des Plaines gas station, whose operators received a $500,000 bonus check from lottery officials.

The jackpot had grown to more than $1.3 billion since April 16 before the July 29 drawing, lottery officials said.

Other suburban Mega Millions jackpot winners include a man from Naperville in 2015 whose winnings amounted to $265 million and a Mount Prospect couple who won $37 million in 2002.

The current Mega Millions jackpot is at $301 million with the next drawing scheduled for Friday.

Winners of July's $1.3 billion Mega Millions lottery drawing have come forward, but have chosen to remain anonymous. The ticket was purchased at the Illinois Speedway gas station in Des Plaines. Associated Press photo
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