A lucky US lottery player has won a Mega Millions jackpot worth more than $1.3 billion, one of the highest prizes ever, a US lottery official confirmed on Saturday.
The official Mega Millions website says a single ticket holder in the midwestern state of Illinois – who has yet to be identified – matched all six magic numbers and won an estimated jackpot of $1.337 billion. dollars (22.17 billion rand).
“We are thrilled to have witnessed one of the biggest jackpot wins in Mega Millions history,” Pat McDonald, senior manager of the Mega Millions Consortium, told the group’s website. “We can’t wait to find out who won and hope to congratulate the winner soon! »
The grand prize has been growing steadily, fueling the dreams of potential winners across the country, for over three months. The prize had not been claimed in 29 previous drawings.
According to US government data, the odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are one in 303 million, far more than the one in a million chance of being struck by lightning.
World record lottery prizes
Friday’s total is lower than the world record of $1.586 billion, set in January 2016 by the US’s other national lottery, Powerball, although that sum was split among three winners.
The second-highest prize ever – and the highest ever won by a single person – was in an October 2018 Mega Millions draw for $1.5 billion.
The $1.337 billion figure for Friday’s draw represents the total amount a winner would be entitled to if they accepted the prize spread over a 30-year annuity.
If the lucky person decided to take the winnings as a one-time cash payment instead, the total amount would drop to $780.5 million, Mega Millions darlings
Taxes would then gobble up a significant portion, while leaving an unimaginable pot to the winner.
Winners are generally advised to seek the assistance of financial advisors immediately, even before claiming the prize money.
Financial planner Robert Pagliarini also advises big winners to “step out of the madness of the situation for a moment” and think seriously about the aspects of their lives that they “don’t want to change.”
Mega Millions is played in 45 US states. Friday’s winning numbers: 13-36-45-57-67 and 14.