DES PLAINES, Ill. (NewsNation) — The Illinois winner of July’s Mega Millions $1.34 billion lottery drawing has fewer than 10 days to decide whether they would like to be paid annually or all at once, according to state lottery officials.
Waiting to claim a lottery fortune is common — most legal and financial experts advise getting your ducks in a row before stepping forward.
But the deadline for the July 29 winner’s decision is rapidly approaching. According to the Illinois Lottery's Winner's Handbook, if a decision is not made, the winner will automatically be paid annually.
According to NBC Chicago, the winner would be paid annually over 29 years. If they opt for a one-time cash payout, that would be about $780.5 million.
“If you are a winner who receives annuity payments, you receive the interest earned on the bonds purchased by the Lottery for the payment of the prize up [to] the prize amount,” the handbook dictates.
The winning ticket was sold at a gas station in Des Plaines, a suburb of Chicago. It was the second-largest jackpot in Mega Millions' history. The largest was in South Carolina in 2018 when a single ticket fetched $1.53 billion.
The Top 10 Mega Millions Jackpots
- $1.537 billion. South Carolina. One winning ticket. Oct. 23, 2018.
- $1.337 billion. Illinois. One winning ticket. July 29, 2022.
- $1.05 billion. Michigan. One winning ticket. Jan. 22, 2021.
- $656 million. Illinois, Kansas, Maryland. Three winning tickets. March 30, 2012.
- $648 million. California, Georgia. Two winning tickets. Dec. 17, 2013.
- $543 million. California. One winning ticket. July 24, 2018.
- $536 million. Indiana. One winning ticket. July 8, 2016.
- $533 million. New Jersey, One winning ticket. March 30, 2018.
- $522 million. California. One winning ticket. June 7, 2019.
- $516 million. Pennsylvania. One winning ticket. May 21, 2021.
Data courtesy: Mega Millions