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Winner of $1.3 billion lottery jackpot to claim prize as real winnings revealed

Organisers behind the Mega Millions lottery are still on the search for their latest winner after it was revealed a winning ticket was purchased in Des Plaines, Illinois, near Chicago.

The ticket in question is worth $1.337 billion before deductions, which could reduce the take-home sum substantially depending on how the winner chooses to receive their reward.

Or if they realise their the rightful owners of the riches at all after Harold Mays, director of the Illinois Department of the Lottery, urged players to see if they’re the lucky recipient-in-waiting. 

“We don’t know whether or not they even know that they won a prize,” said Mays at a recent press conference. “So, I encourage everybody to check your ticket.”

Lottery winners in the United States can choose to receive their winnings in one lump sum, or they may have their payments spread over 30 years in annuity.

There’s then the matter of tax, which will vary state-by-state. If the lottery-winner lives pays their tax in Illinois, where there’s a taxable income rate of 4.95%, for example, their Mega Millions jackpot could be reduced to just $554.5 million.