Billion-dollar Mega Millions Illinois jackpot winner has just days to make a decision

The winner of Illinois' Mega Millions billion-dollar jackpot in July is running out of time to make a crucial decision.

The winning ticket was purchased in northwest suburban Des Plaines, and the winning numbers were announced on July 29. The winner has yet to come forward, which lottery officials say is normal when large jackpots are won.

However, according to the Illinois Lottery's Winners' Handbook, the winner has 60 days to decide whether they want to take the winnings in annual payments or in one lump sum. That means the winner has through Sept. 27 to make the decision.


The jackpot was worth 1.337 billion. "This is the largest lottery prize ever won in Illinois," according to a statement from the Illinois Lottery.

The winner would receive the total prize if they were to choose the annuity option, paid annually over 29 years. Most winners opt for the cash option, which for the $1.337 billion would be an estimated $780.5 million.

The winner has 12 months to come forward to claim their prize.

The odds of winning the jackpot are 1 in 302.5 million.