The $1.34 billion Mega Millions prize has yet to be claimed. Here’s why we might never identify the offender:

This summer, someone in Illinois became a billionaire. However, more than a month after the winning Mega Millions numbers were announced, the lucky winner has yet to receive their record-breaking award.

The purchaser of a single ticket purchased at the Speedway petrol station in Des Plaines, Illinois, became the $1.34 billion prize winner when the ticket’s combination of the winning numbers—13, 36, 45, 57, and 67—and the Mega Ball—14—matched on July 29.

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According to lottery organisers, the jackpot has still not been claimed as of August 25.

According to Emilia Mazur, a spokesman for the Illinois Lottery, “For a reward of this magnitude, it’s not unusual for a winner to wait a little longer to claim the prize since they may want to seek professional legal and financial counsel prior to claiming.”

TODAY has contacted the Illinois lottery for further information.

The greatest prize in Illinois history can be claimed by winners 12 months after the drawing, but they only have 60 days to decide whether they want a lump sum payment or yearly instalments.

The public might never learn the identity of the lucky person who wins the jackpot, though, as Illinois is one of only a few states that gives some winners the choice to stay anonymous.

According to the Illinois Lottery, winners in Illinois who have won more than $250,000 can ask to keep their name and place of residence a secret.

Additionally speaking to Newsweek, Mazur said, “The Illinois Lottery will support the winner through the prize claim procedure to ensure a fantastic winning experience and support any wishes for privacy.

The director of the Illinois lottery, Harold Mays, had a similar opinion on how winners frequently wait to publicly announce their wins in a press conference on July 30 following the drawing.

“We’ve noticed it — the players tend to take longer time because they want to ensure that they get their affairs in order and sort of go about again,” Mays said. “Hopefully, this is a strategic manner for them and their family.”

The Mega Millions jackpot on July 29 was the second-largest in the game’s history, and it was so big because no one had drawn all six numbers since April 15.

The highest Mega Millions jackpot was sold in 2018 to a happy South Carolina winner who choose to keep their identity a secret in order to collect the $1.5 billion prize. Other states that don’t need winners to declare themselves publicly include Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, and Ohio.

According to Mays, the winner will earn an estimated $780 million if they select the lump payment option. A $500k bonus will also be given to the Speedway petrol station that sold the prize.

Some Des Plaines residents cursed their own lack of visitation.

For whatever reason, I didn’t actually buy one here, Lionel Salongo admitted to NBC News. “I’m sorry I did that. Without a doubt, I regret it.”

Other customers declared that they would continue to play.

For the following drawing, I have my Mega Millions, Patrick Brendt told NBC News. “Even though I didn’t win the huge money, I remain optimistic. I’m still going to continue.”

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