2 Winners Come Forward to Claim $1.3 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot Nearly 8 Weeks After Drawing

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Mega Millions lottery tickets
Mega Millions lottery tickets

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The $1.3 billion Mega Millions jackpot has finally been claimed.

Nearly two months after the numbers were drawn, the winner of the third-largest jackpot in U.S. history has stepped forward, according to the Illinois Lottery.

The sum will be split between two people who had agreed to do so and have "stayed true to that word," Illinois Lottery said.

The ticket was purchased at a Speedway gas station in Illinois earlier this summer.

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"They stopped into the Speedway in Des Plaines and grabbed a Mega Millions ticket while they were there,"  Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays said, according to a press release. "That turned out to be an absolutely life changing decision when a $3 line of Mega Millions with Megaplier turned into a $1.34 billion jackpot win."

While the winners had 12 months from the date of the draw to claim their prize, they only had 60 days from the date of the draw to choose the cash option or annual payments, per Illinois Lottery rules.

According to the Illinois Lottery, the winners have been working with professional legal and financial advisors over the past few weeks and have decided to take the "lump sum payment of $780.5 million."

"For a prize of this magnitude, it's not unusual for the winner to take a while to claim," Mays said in a previous statement. "I'm sure they're going through a range of emotions."

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The winning ticket matched all six numbers in the July 29 drawing — white balls 13, 36, 45, 47 and 67 — plus the gold Mega Ball 14, making it the prize winner.

The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350, according to Mega Millions.

Late last month, as the winners still had not come forward, Today's Hoda Kotb shared that lottery officials were urging everyone in Illinois to check their old tickets one more time, just to make sure they weren't in possession of the golden ticket.

If the $1.3 billion Mega Millions prize had remained unclaimed past the 12 month deadline, all of the money each participating state spent on contributing to the jackpot would have been returned, per the game's website.