It was one of the biggest payouts in American lottery history: The winning ticket took home Friday night’s jackpot of more than US$1.33 billion, organizers said Saturday.
“Check your tickets, Mega Millions players! We have a winner (…) in Illinois. Stay tuned for more details!” East-Central State Lottery tweeted.
“We can’t wait to find out who won and hope to congratulate the winner soon!” Pat MacDonald, an official at Mega Millions, added in a press release.
The jackpot was initially estimated at $1.28 billion, but Mega Millions explained that the “final value was higher than estimated” based on actual sales.
1.337 billion on Friday represents what the lucky winner will get if they agree to spread the payment over 30 years.
If he were to receive his prize at once, he would receive “only” 780 million – a portion of which would be taken up by taxes – according to the Mega Millions estimate.
The jackpot for this lottery has grown steadily over three months, as if dreaming about the luck of its players, no one guessed six correct numbers in the previous thirty draws.
The chances of winning this incredible sum are only about one in 303 million.
The biggest win was $1.586 billion. It also won Powerball, the other major American lottery, in January 2016, but the spoils were split between three winners.