Illinois Lottery retailers earned $3.75m in payable commission and bonuses for selling winning tickets during the historic recent Mega Millions jackpot run.
It was previously reported that an Illinois Lottery retailer had earned a $500,000 cash bonus after the third-largest jackpot in US history was won, following a roll which started on April 16 and ran all the way until July 29.
But the full-scale of the achievement for retailers has now been laid bare. In total, there were more than 1.4 million winning tickets in Illinois collecting $11.8m in prizes (excluding the jackpot), including four individuals who won prizes of $1m.
The unknown winner has now come forward to claim the $1.34bn jackpot, and the Illinois Lottery has confirmed that it has been shared by two anonymous individuals who had agreed to do so in advance of the successful drawing.
“I’ve been working for the Illinois Lottery for over five years, and this is by far the largest prize I’ve ever had to process,” said Illinois Lottery Claims Manager Luis Rodriguez.
“When we met with the winners’ lawyers there was a real buzz of excitement in the room.
“It’s a surreal feeling giving away this amount of money and knowing what a huge impact this is going to make on the winners’ lives, and for others close to them as well.
“It was an incredible feeling just to be part of that process – so I can only imagine how the winners themselves are feeling.”
The winners have spent the past few weeks working with professional legal and financial advisors to support the claim process, and have opted to take the lump sum payment of $780.5m.
“These winners are now in the enviable position of deciding what to do with their newfound fortune,” added Illinois Lottery Director Harold Mays.
“They stopped into the Speedway in Des Plaines and grabbed a Mega Millions ticket while they were there. That turned out to be an absolutely life changing decision when a $3 line of Mega Millions with Megaplier turned into a $1.34bn jackpot win.”