Single Ticket Holder Who Won $1.3 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot Last Month Still Hasn't Claimed Prize

·3 min read

One extremely lucky Mega Millions winner is a billionaire after hitting the $1.34 billion jackpot — and they may not even know it.

Last month, an Illinois resident purchased the winning ticket at a Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, about 20 miles outside Chicago, according to the Illinois Lottery.

But as of Friday, they have yet to claim their prize, an Illinois Lottery official confirms to PEOPLE.

Lottery officials are now urging everybody in the state to check their old tickets one more time, just to make sure they aren't holding onto a winner, Today's Hoda Kotb shared during Friday's show.

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While the winner has 12 months from the date of the draw to claim their prize, they only have 60 days from the date of the draw to choose the cash option or annual payments, per Illinois Lottery rules. The lump-sum cash option will yield a payout of an estimated $742.2 million.

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

Jackpot For Mega Millions Risen To $1.28 Billion
Jackpot For Mega Millions Risen To $1.28 Billion

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"We will work closely with the winner to respect any wishes for privacy and support them in any way we can to provide a positive winning experience," Mays continued.

Under Illinois regulations, those who win a prize of $125,000 or more can choose to remain anonymous.

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If the $1.3 billion Mega Millions prize remains unclaimed past the deadline, all of the money each participating state spent on contributing to the jackpot will be returned, per the game's website.

Mega Millions lottery tickets
Mega Millions lottery tickets

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This jackpot is the second largest in the 20-year history of the lottery. The July 29 winning ticket matched all six numbers — white balls 13, 36, 45, 47 and 67 — plus the gold Mega Ball 14.

"We are thrilled to have witnessed one of the biggest jackpot wins in Mega Millions history," Pat McDonald, Lead Director for the Mega Millions Consortium said in a statement after the winning ticket was initially announced. "We're eager to find out who won and look forward to congratulating the winner soon!"

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The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302,575,350, according to Mega Millions. The largest jackpot of any U.S. lottery game was $1.586 billion from a Powerball prize in 2016. The winnings were divided between ticket holders.

Mega Millions tickets are sold in 45 states, Washington, D.C., and the US Virgin Islands, where drawings are on Tuesdays and Fridays at 11 p.m. ET. Tickets are sold online in Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and D.C., but the purchaser must be in that state.

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