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One Ticket in Illinois Won the 2nd-largest Mega Millions Jackpot of Nearly $1.34 Billion WATCH

Mega Millions (Ringo Chiu-AP)

The chase for the second-largest Mega Millions jackpot has ended — with a single ticket sold in the Chicago area for the whole $1.337 billion

One ticket bought in Des Plaines hit the top prize in Friday night’s drawing, according to the Illinois Lottery, securing the third-largest jackpot of any US lottery game and ending a buildup that began when Mega Millions last drew a jackpot winner in mid-April.

The winning ticket was purchased at a Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, roughly a 20-mile drive northwest of downtown Chicago, the Illinois Lottery said Saturday.

“We have not heard from the winner yet. We don’t know whether … they even know that they won a prize. So I encourage everybody to check your ticket,” Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays told reporters Saturday morning in Chicago.

The jackpot rose to $1.337 billion late Friday, up from an earlier estimate of $1.28 billion, lottery operators said.

If the holder chooses a lump-sum cash option, the ticket will yield a one-time payment of about $780 million. Otherwise, the nearly $1.34 billion prize will be spread over an initial payment and 29 annual payments.

Friday night’s winning numbers were 13, 36, 45, 57, 67 and a Mega Ball of 14

The Speedway convenience store in Des Plaines will receive $500,000 for selling the winning ticket, Mays said.

The ticket holder has a year from the drawing to claim the prize, and can choose to withhold his or her name from the public, Mays said. In Illinois, winners of more than $250,000 can ask the lottery to keep their name and hometown confidential.

The largest ever Mega Millions jackpot of $1.537 billion was won by a single ticketsold in South Carolina in 2018. That’s the second-largest jackpot for any US lottery game, and it’s the world’s largest lottery prize won by just one ticket, according to Mega Millions.

The largest jackpot of any US lottery game was $1.586 billion — a Powerball prize from January 13, 2016, shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee.

Mega Millions (Ringo Chiu-AP)
People wait in line at Blue Bird Liquor store to purchase Mega Millions lottery tickets Friday in Hawthorne, California. – (Ringo Chiu-AP

Other tickets win big prizes

Some other ticket holders also won some sizable prizes Friday.

Twenty-six tickets won a secondary prize of at least $1 million because they matched the first five numbers.

Six of the 26 tickets won $2 million because the buyers matched not only the first five numbers, but also paid an additional $1 to activate the game’s “multiplier,” which elevates non-jackpot prizes

One of the 26 tickets, sold in California, did not have the multiplier but still won more than $4.2 million, according to the state’s lottery officials. That’s because all prizes in California must be based on sales and number of winners instead of being a fixed amount.

The 20 “Match 5” winners without the multiplier were sold in California; Florida (two); Georgia (two); Illinois; Kentucky; Louisiana; Michigan; Minnesota (two); North Carolina (two); New Hampshire (two); New York; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; Texas (two); and Wisconsin

The six $2 million tickets were sold in Arizona; Florida (three); Iowa and Pennsylvania, according to Mega Millions.

First MegaMillions jackpot win since April 15

The jackpot had been rising since mid-April, when the jackpot was hit on consecutive drawings on April 12 and April 15. Since then, no ticket in twice-weekly drawings matched all six numbers — which is tough. The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350.

The Mega Millions website on Friday night became inaccessible for several minutes after the drawing. The lottery’s jackpots start at $20 million and grow based on game sales and interest rates, according to its website.

The next drawing will be Tuesday at 11 p.m. ET, at the $20 million starting point.

Mega Millions tickets are sold in 45 states, Washington, DC, and the US Virgin Islands, where drawings are on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 p.m. ET. Tickets are sold online in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and DC, but the purchaser must be in that state.

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