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Winners of $1.34 billion Mega Millions jackpot turn in ticket

Lottery Jackpot
Posted at 9:09 AM, Sep 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-21 09:49:10-04

After nearly two months, the winners of the July 29 Mega Millions drawing have stepped forward.

The Illinois Lottery said two people recently turned in the winning ticket, which was sold in Des Plaines, Illinois. The lottery said the two had agreed before the drawing to split any winnings, and they stayed true to their word.

The Illinois Lottery said the pair have opted to remain anonymous. The lottery allows anyone who wins a prize of $250,000 or more to stay anonymous.

Illinois Lottery claims manager Luis Rodriguez said he helped the duo through the process of claiming one of the largest jackpots in U.S. history.

"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. When we met with the winners' lawyers there was a real buzz of excitement in the room," said Rodriguez "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.”

The jackpot was the third-largest in U.S. history.

While the winners had up to a year to turn in their tickets, if they wanted the lump sum payment, they had just 60 days. The duo opted to take the lump sum, splitting a one-time payment of $780.5 million.

At a 37% federal tax rate, they’ll owe a combined $288 million in U.S. taxes and about $38 million in state taxes.