CHICAGO — A single ticket purchased in suburban Chicago beat the odds to win the $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot.
In accordance with megamillions.comthere was one jackpot winning ticket in the drawing on Friday night and it was purchased at the Speedway gas station and convenience store in Des Plaines.
Winning numbers: 13-36-45-57-67, Mega Ball: 14.
“We are very happy to witness one of the biggest jackpot wins ever in Mega Millions history,” Ohio Lottery Director Pat McDonald, current lead director of the Mega Millions Consortium, said in a statement on the lottery’s website. “We are very excited to find out who won and look forward to congratulating the winner soon!”
There was a jackpot the third largest lottery prize in the country. It went up so big because no one has matched the game’s six pick numbers since April 15th. That’s 29 consecutive draws without a jackpot winner.
Lottery officials estimated the winnings at $1.28 billion, but on Saturday revised the figure to $1.337 billion.
The total prize is for winners who have chosen the annuity option, which is paid annually for 29 years. Most winners choose the cash option, which was $780.5 million as of Friday night.
Chances of winning jackpot is 1 in 302.5 million.
According to the Illinois Lottery, the store that sold the ticket was also a winner; will receive half a million dollars just for selling a ticket. A clerk at the Speedway store who answered phone calls but declined to give his name said the store had not received official notification that it had sold the winning ticket and that he learned of it from reporters who called for comment.
Mega Millions is played in 45 states as well as 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 remain anonymous, and Illinois Lottery spokeswoman Emilia Mazur said the vast majority of those winners do just that.
Even lottery officials may not know who won for a while because winners don’t have to come forward right away. And the winning ticket may have been purchased by a group of people.
“We won’t know if it’s an individual or a lottery pool until the winner comes forward to claim their prize,” said National Mega Millions spokeswoman Danielle Freezee-Bubb.
Emily Irwin, managing director of Wells Fargo’s Wealth & Investment Management advisory and planning division, said Friday that the winner should consider keeping a low profile and refraining from the extravagant spending 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 so that you are not flooded with requests for money.
“There are scammers and others who go after the big winners,” she said, acknowledging that sudden wealth can put a winner in physical danger.
“Privacy equals security,” she said.
One thing the winner must do immediately is sign the ticket. That’s because if the ticket isn’t signed, it’s not really yours. If a winner loses an unsigned ticket and another person finds it and signs it, the ticket is now theirs.
Irwin suggests another step to survive the legal battle over ownership.
“Take the Polaroid that you have it on and (put) it in a safe or somewhere else,” she said.
Pratik Patel, head of family wealth strategies at BMO’s family office in Chicago, said the winner should work with a financial planner to plan for their future.
“I would run a Monte Carlo simulation of the market,” Patel said, explaining that it is an analysis of the winner’s annual income and returns from various investments. “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 advise you to do that before you even set foot in the lottery office,” she said.
One expert who has worked with past lottery winners says winners should avoid visiting the lottery altogether, instead sending a lawyer or financial advisor to keep them anonymous — if lottery officials allow it.
“There are going to be people who will go out of their way to figure out who the winner is,” said Kim Kamin, who has worked as a probate and estate attorney for 17 years and now teaches estate planning at Northwestern University School of Law. “There will be many eyes watching.”
There’s also the question no one wants to answer at the time: What happens to your money when you die?
Don’t leave it unanswered, Irwin said; you must take steps to ensure that the bulk of your estate passes to your beneficiaries and not to the government.
“You need a manager who specializes in that and understands that world,” Patel said. “Someone making $60,000 a year might need a certain type of professional manager and might want to switch to someone who’s making super-wealth.”
Whatever the winner does, it’s important to do it slowly.
“You can be condescending, but let’s be smart about it,” Patel said. “It’s a lot of money, but until you know what you can afford, there are still limits.”
For example, he said, consider leasing a private jet before diving in and buying one.
“You might be interested in owning your favorite basketball team,” he warned, “but it might not be a good idea if it’s going to cost you all your money.”