Home Illinois Lottery makes history with $560 Million Mega Millions Jackpot win

Illinois Lottery makes history with $560 Million Mega Millions Jackpot win

Somebody’s day just got better in Illinois. The multi-state Mega Millions lottery game has finally produced a staggering $560 million jackpot winner. After a series of 19 draws without a winning number sequence, one ticket sold in Illinois matched all five numbers plus the Mega Ball meaning somebody isn’t going to need to worry about going into their overdraft for a while, at least for a few months.

The lucky winner now faces a crucial decision: whether to receive the full amount in 30 annually-increasing payments over 29 years or opt for the lump-sum estimated cash value of $264 million. Accounting for federal and Illinois state taxes, the annuity option would yield approximately $326.3 million over the 29-year period, while the upfront cash payment would be $153.3 million, which is not to be sneezed at, and the yearly interest alone on that amount of cash would make the winnings considerably more than that.

This windfall ranks as the 25th-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history and the 41st-largest cash value ever awarded. Notably, it also stands as the 9th-largest Mega Millions jackpot ever won.

Somewhat surprisingly in this day and age, it is the first time a Mega Millions jackpot has been won with an online purchase in Illinois with previous winners all having bought their tickets in person rather than via an app or website.

Illinois has a state policy allowing lottery winners to retain their anonymity so we may very well never find out who scooped the prize, although if somebody next door suddenly starts coming home in a new helicopter the game might be up.

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Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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