Photo: Getty Images
  /  08.26.2022

On July 29, a Mega Millions ticket worth $1.34 billion was sold at a Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, Illinois. Yesterday (Aug. 25), officials revealed that one month later, the winner has yet to come forward and claim their massive fortune. The New York Post reports that this lottery prize is the third largest in the history of the United States.

One week after the ticket was purchased, Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays said, “For a prize of this magnitude, it’s not unusual for the winner to take a while to claim.” He added, “I’m sure they’re going through a range of emotions.”

On social media, one user shared tips for the mystery winner. “The winner of the $1.34 billion Mega Millions jackpot still hasn’t come forward to claim it one month later. Lottery officials are urging players to re-check their tickets in case they won and don’t even know it,” the post read. Another user chimed in saying how unfortunate it would be to miss out on the money. “Can you imagine if you lost the ticket or accidentally threw it away or washed it because you had it in a pocket or something?” they wrote.

According to officials, Illinois Mega Millions lottery participants who win $250,000 or more are allowed to remain anonymous. Mays suspects the billion-dollar winner may not even be aware that they played the life-changing numbers. “We don’t know whether or not they even know that they won a prize,” he said. Mays added, “So, I encourage everybody to check your ticket.”

Although the winner has a year to claim their earnings, they do have to decide how they would like to receive the funds within a specific amount of time. The person holding the winning ticket must come forward within 60 days of the drawing and state if they want a lump sum of $780 million paid out in cash or to receive $1.34 billion over 29 years.

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