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Mega Millions player wins $552 million jackpot in Illinois — ending 3-month drought

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CHICAGO (CBS) — A winning Mega Millions ticket worth $552 million was purchased online by someone in Illinois, lottery officials announced on Wednesday.

The prize was said to be the largest ever won by an iLottery player in the nation. 

Three months had passed since a winning ticket had been sold, when a New Jersey resident claimed a $1.13 billion Mega Millions jackpot in March. That ticket was sold at a ShopRite grocery store in Neptune.

The Illinois player matched all five numbers and the Mega Ball to win Tuesday night’s jackpot and become the fourth Illinois Mega Millions player to have won over $1 million so far this year.   

Those numbers again were 19, 37, 40, 63, 69, and Mega Ball 17.

Despite the life-changing win, it hasn’t topped the largest prize won in Illinois.

The $1.34 billion Mega Millions jackpot from 2022 remains on top. It was also the third-largest prize ever won in the nation’s history, according to lottery officials.  The prize, which was claimed eight weeks after the winning draw, was split between two people who agreed to share it if they won. After consulting legal and financial advisors, the winners walked away with a lump sum of $780.5 million.

Mega Millions has produced six jackpot wins over $1 billion in states all across the country. South Carolina was the first in 2018, followed by Michigan in 2021, Illinois in 2022, Maine in early 2023, Florida in August 2024 and New Jersey in March 2024. Florida holds the current game record jackpot of $1.602 billion.

Winners have one year from the date of the winning draw in which to claim their prize. They are also encouraged to write their name on the back of their ticket and keep it in a safe place until they’re ready to redeem their prize.

The Mega Millions game is played every Tuesday and Friday night. Tickets cost $2 a pop and are sold in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER or text ILGAMB to 833234. Additional information can be found by visiting the Illinois Department of Human Services website

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