We finally have a winner.
Nearly two months after the Mega Millions $1.34 billion winning ticket was announced, two people have finally claimed the ticket to win the third-largest jackpot in American history, the Illinois Lottery announced Wednesday. The winnings were shared in cooperation: The two winners had agreed before they bought the ticket that they would split the prize.
The winners have also chosen to remain anonymous.
“These winners are now in the enviable position of deciding what to do with their newfound fortune,” Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays said in a statement.
The winning ticket was announced July 29 in a jackpot roll that starts on April 16. The ticket was bought at a Speedway convenience store in Des Plaines, less than 20 kilometers northwest of Chicago.
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But concern began to grow after the ticket went unclaimed. Winners have just 60 days to choose between the cash and annuity options and up to a year to claim the prize.
It appears that the winners spent time with legal and financial advisors to support their claim process. The winners decided to take the lump sum payment of $780.5 million.
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No information about the winners was given, but the Illinois Lottery said they should be “over the moon.”
“It’s a surreal feeling to be giving away this amount of money and knowing what a huge impact this will make on the lives of the winners, as well as others close to them,” said Illinois Lottery manager Luis Rodriguez. “It was an incredible feeling just to be a part of that process – so I can only imagine how the winners themselves feel.”
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.