What would you do if you won the lottery? Go on a luxurious vacation? Buy a million-dollar estate? It's an age-old question, a fun dinner party discussion that allows people to dream of an alternate reality, one in which they will likely never live. However, for one US citizen, deciding how to spend their millions will soon be a very real dilemma, as the Mega Millions jackpot announced that one lucky person had won the $1.33 billion prize! The only issue? The winner is unaware they've even won...
Last Friday, 29 August 2022, the balls rolled for what was to be the 3rd-highest jackpot in the history of the lottery. A staggering $1.337 billion was up for grabs for anyone who correctly guessed the five winning numbers and the Mega Ball. Despite the 1 in 300 million odds of winning, people flocked to their nearest gas station with this life-changing sum on their minds. Days later, their dreams were shattered as the winning numbers were announced - 13, 36, 45, 57, and 67 and a Mega Ball of 14.
One person, however, had visited the Speedway gas station and convenience store in Des Plaines and unknowingly filled out the winning numbers. In a shocking twist, Mega Millions has announced that this winner has still yet to claim their prize, seemingly unaware of their good fortune. "We don't know whether or not they even know that they won a prize," said Harold Mays, Illinois Department of the Lottery director. "So, I encourage everybody to check your ticket." Considering that the site of the sale was a gas station, there's no guarantee that the winner is even an Illinois resident.
Of course, it's possible that even once the winner claims their prize, they will decide to remain anonymous. This is a common practice for lottery winners who wish to protect themselves from unwanted attention and scams. "Privacy provides safety to both you and your family from scammers or other individuals who can start to prey on you," financial advisor Emily Irwin told CNBC. Those who win the lottery are advised to hire a team of financial advisors to ensure they make the most of their newfound fortunes. Did you visit a gas station in Illinois last week and purchase a lottery ticket? If yes, it's worth double-checking the ticket because it could be you!