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Illinois lottery winner of massive $552 Mega Millions prize comes forward

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The lucky Illinois Lottery player who scored a $552 million Mega Millions jackpot prize last week has come forward and claimed their prize, according to officials.

The winner, Illinois Lottery officials said in a release, purchased the ticket online. It’s the largest jackpot won through iLottery in U.S. history, the release said.

“I was scrolling through my emails when I saw one from the Illinois Lottery saying to check my numbers because I won a prize,” the winner said in the release. “In the past, I’ve won $2 here or $5 there, so I assumed it would be similar.” 

The winner went on to say that the prize — a whopping $552 million — was especially meaningful after being raised by a single parent.

“I was raised by a single mom and throughout my childhood, she had to work two jobs to provide for our family, to put food on the table, and for us to get an education,” the winner said in the release. “The day after I graduated from high school, I started working and I haven’t stopped since.” 

According to the release, the winner plans to soon share the news with family — and retire early.

“I am a hard worker,” the winner said. “I’ve spent my life as a laborer and once I was making a decent living, I asked my mom to retire and let me take care of her. It was my way of thanking her for how much she sacrificed for us. I haven’t told her yet about this life-changing windfall but when that time comes, we’re all going to be shedding some happy tears.”

“I’ve always dreamed of retiring early and enjoying life with my family,” the winner added. “I think it’s safe to say my dream just came true.”

According to Illinois lottery officials, the winner has chosen to remain anonymous. According to state rules, winners of prizes of $250,000 or more can choose to keep their name confidential.

The winning Mega Millions ticket matched all six numbers drawn Tuesday night — 19, 37, 40, 63 and 69, plus the gold Mega Ball 17, according to the Mega Millions — for a grand prize of $552 million. It marks one of the 10 highest Mega Millions jackpots ever won, lottery officials said.

It also comes two years after another lottery ticket sold at a Speedway convenience store in Des Plaines won $1.337 billion playing Mega Millions — the largest lottery prize ever won in the state.

The latest winner is now the fourth Illinois Lottery player to win $1 million or more in the Mega Millions so far this year, and the second iLottery player to take home over $1 million this week, lottery officials said. The release did not indicate whether the winner would be taking the prize as an annuity, or a cash option worth $264 million.

Beyond the jackpot prize, 944,852 others also won prizes during Tuesday’s drawing. Two tickets matched all five white balls, but not the gold Mega Ball. Those were sold in California and Maryland.

Several other $30,000 and $10,000 prizes were also won.

Here’s a look at the top Mega Millions jackpots won:

Amount Date Winning Tickets
$1.602 billion 8/8/2023 1-FL
$1.537 billion 10/23/2018 1-SC
$1.348 billion 1/13/2023 1-ME
$1.337 billion 7/29/2022 1-IL
$1.128 billion 3/26/2024 1-NJ
$1.050 billion 1/22/2021 1-MI
$656 million                  3/30/2012                  3-IL, KS, MD
$648 million 12/17/2013 2-CA, GA
$560 million (est) 6/4/2024 1-IL
$543 million 7/24/2018 1-CA
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