Here’s what the winner should do

Someone beat all the odds and won the $1.34 billion Mega Millions jackpot.

The winning ticket was purchased at a Speedway on Touhy Avenue in Des Plaines, the Illinois Lottery website said.

The winning numbers were: 13-36-45-57-67, Mega Ball: 14.

“We are thrilled to have witnessed one of the biggest jackpot wins in Mega Millions history,” said Pat McDonald, Ohio Lottery Manager, currently Senior Manager of the Mega Millions Consortium, in a statement posted on the lottery’s website. “We can’t wait to find out who won and hope to congratulate the winner soon! »

The Speedway station that sold the winning lottery ticket will also receive a $500,000 cash reward, according to the Illinois Lottery.

“I think it’s awesome,” Des Plaines Alderman Patsy Smith said of the winning ticket sold at a local gas station. “Congratulations to the person who got the winning ticket. … You can do a lot with that money.”

Lottery officials may not know for a while who won, 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 shows up to claim their prize,” Mega Millions National Spokesperson Danielle Frizzi said. -Babb.


The Illinois State Lottery said on Saturday it had not yet heard of the winner.

“We don’t know whether or not they know they won this amazing prize,” Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays said. “So we say to all of our players, check your tickets.”

An employee of the Des Plaines Speedway gas station directed any requests for comment to Speedway’s corporate office. A call to corporate headquarters was not immediately returned on Saturday.

The jackpot was the third-largest lottery prize in the nation and the biggest prize ever won in Illinois. It became so important because no one had matched the game’s six selected numbers since April 15. That’s 29 consecutive draws without a jackpot winner.

Lottery officials had estimated the winning take at $1.28 billion, but revised the figure to $1.337 billion on Saturday.

This prize is for winners who choose the annuity option, paid annually over 29 years. Most winners opt for the cash option, which for Friday night’s draw was estimated at $747.2 million.

The jackpot winner has 12 months to claim the prize but only has 60 days from the date of the draw to choose the cash option or annual payments.

The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302.5 million.

Illinois is among the states where winners over $250,000 can choose not to reveal their names, and Illinois Lottery spokeswoman Emilia Mazur said the vast majority of those winners did exactly that.

Emily Irwin, managing director, advice and planning, at Wells Fargo’s Wealth & Investment Management, said on Friday the winner should consider keeping a low profile and resisting a frowning spending spree that everyone knows the winner won’t. can’t afford.

“Now is not the time to start calling everyone you know, saying, ‘Hey, I have a big secret. Can you keep it? ‘” Irwin said, as you would like to avoid being inundated with requests for money.

“There are scam artists and others who follow the big winners,” she said, admitting that sudden wealth can put a lottery winner in physical danger.

“Privacy is synonymous with security,” she said.

One thing the winner must do immediately is sign the ticket. That’s because if the ticket wasn’t signed, it really isn’t yours. If the winner loses an unsigned ticket and another person finds and signs it, the ticket now belongs to that person.

Irwin suggests one more step to surviving a legal battle over ownership.

“Take a Polaroid of yourself holding it and (put it) in a safe or some other safe place,” she said.

Pratik Patel, manager of family wealth strategies at BMO Family Office in Chicago, said the winner should work with a financial planner to plan for their future.

“I would do a Monte Carlo market simulation,” Patel said, explaining that it’s an analysis of what a winner’s annual income might be and the proceeds of 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 suggest you do this before you even set foot in a lottery office,” she said.

An expert who has worked with past lottery winners says winners should avoid going to the lottery office, instead sending a lawyer or financial adviser to preserve their anonymity – if lottery officials allow it .

“There will be people who will do whatever they can to determine who is the winner,” said Kim Kamin, who was a trusts and estates lawyer for 17 years and now teaches estate planning at the college. in law from Northwestern University. “There are going to be many eyes watching.”

There’s also a question no one wants to answer right now: what happens to the money when you die?

Irwin said not to leave this unanswered; you must take steps to ensure that the bulk of your estate goes to your beneficiaries rather than the government.

“You need a manager who specializes in this area and understands this world,” Patel said. “Someone who makes $60,000 a year may need a certain type of professional manager, and they may want to move on to someone who makes ultra wealth.”

Whatever the winner does, it’s important to do it slowly.

“You can absolutely indulge yourself, but let’s be smart,” 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 chartering 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 using up all your money.”

Mega Millions is played in 45 states, as well as Washington, DC and the US Virgin Islands. The game is coordinated by state lotteries.

Another Illinois lottery player won $1 million in Friday’s Mega Millions draw. This ticket was sold at the SRB Food Mart in Berkeley. The grocery store will receive a $10,000 bonus for the sale of the winning ticket.

This is the fourth time an Illinois lottery player has won a $1 million prize in the Mega Million draw this year.

• Daily Herald editor Alicia Fabbre contributed to this report.

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