On Saturday, organizers said it was one of the largest payouts in US lottery history: the winning ticket took the Friday night jackpot of more than US$1.33 billion.
“Mega Millions, check your tickets! We have a winner (…) in Illinois. Stay tuned for more details!” Central Eastern State Lottery tweeted.
“We can’t wait to see who won and hope to congratulate the winner soon!” added Pat MacDonald, Mega Millions official, in a press release.
The jackpot was initially estimated at $1.28 billion, but “the final value was over estimated,” based on actual sales, Mega Millions explained.
Friday’s 1.337 billion represents what the lucky winner would get if he agreed to extend the payment over 30 years.
If he wanted to receive his prize all at once, he would “only” receive 780 million – part of which would be withheld in taxes – at the discretion of Mega Millions.
The jackpot of this lottery has grown steadily for more than three months, and the dreams of its players have also grown in wealth, since no one guessed the six correct numbers in the previous 30th draw.
The chances of winning this staggering amount were only one out of nearly 303 million.
The biggest win ever was $1.586 billion. It was won in January 2016 in the other major American lottery, Powerball, but the spoils were split between three winners.
“Amateur entrepreneur. Professional internet expert. Zombie maven. Incurable pop culture scholar.”