THE deadline to claim the cash option for a $1.34billion lottery jackpot will expire in only seven days as the winner is urged to come forward.
The winning ticket for the Mega Millions jackpot was purchased on July 29 at a Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, Illinois, and the winner still has several months to claim installments of the cash.
Mega Millions winners have 12 months from the date of the drawing the claim their prize but only 60 days to choose the cash option or annual payments, according to the Illionios Lottery Handbook
However, if they want the fund in cash, the deadline hits on September 27.
Mega Millions winners have 12 months from the date of the drawing the claim their prize but only 60 days to choose the cash option or annual payments, according to the Illinois Lottery Handbook.
The $1.34billion prize is the second largest jackpot in the history of the 20-year game, only topped by the $1.537billion won in South Carolina in 2018.
“If you are a winner who receives annuity payments, you receive the interest earned on the bonds purchased by the Lottery for the payment of the prize up the prize amount,” the handbook said.
The annual annuity would be paid over 29 years or the secret winner could choose $780.5million in cash but it’s getting down to the wire.
“Failure to choose a payment option within the 60-day time period will automatically result in annuity payments,” the handbook dictates.
Lottery officials said no one has stepped forward to claim the prize but when and if they do, we may never know their identity because Illinois is one of the states that allow winners to remain anonymous.
Many may think a winner should and would come forward immediately but lottery officials say it’s not unheard of for winners to wait some time before coming forward for their prize.
“For a prize of this magnitude, it’s not unusual for a winner to take a little bit longer to claim the prize,” Director of Illinois Lottery communications Meghan Powers told NBC News.
“As they may want to seek professional, legal and financial advice prior to claiming.”
If the winner does not come forward by the end of next July, the money will be returned to the participating state lotteries where the tickets were originally purchased.
“I’m sure they’re going through a range of emotions,” Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays said last month.