Illinois’ $1Billion Lottery Winner Has 10 Days, Or Things Change
If you won yourself over a billion dollars playing the lottery back on July 29th ($1.34 billion in this case), would you still be standing off to the side considering what you were going to do with your newfound fortune? Or would you have been at the lottery office the very next day to claim your life-changing prize jackpot?
No one seems to know for sure what Illinois' latest soon-to-be billionaire is doing, is going to do, or if the potential winner even knows that they have a winning ticket at all.
One thing is certain, though. They have to do something within the next week or so, because if they don't, their options on how to take their winnings definitely change.
The Winner Of The $1.34 Billion Mega Millions Lottery Ticket, Purchased At A Gas Station In Des Plaines, Still Hasn't Stepped Forward
And that's not really all that unusual. The Illinois Lottery encourages potential winners to make sure that they sign their winning ticket first. Then, they suggest that the winner seek out good, solid legal and financial advice. After that, they say you should make an appointment with the lottery to get the claim on the jackpot started.
As the winner, you still have 12 months in Illinois to claim your prize jackpot, and if the jackpot amount exceeds $250,000, you can choose to remain anonymous.
However, if you wait longer than 60 days to come forward, you lose an option on the money.
In Illinois, Lotto, Powerball, and Mega Millions Winners Have 60 Days To Chose Either The Lump Sum Cash Option Or Annuity Payments
And if you, as the jackpot winner, fail to do so, the jackpot will automatically be paid out to you in the form of annual annuity payments.
So, which option is the better one?
According to NBCChicago.com,
The $1.337 billion prize would be paid annually over 29 years if the winner picks the annuity option. If the winner opts for cash, they would receive an estimated $780.5 million.
I think it probably comes down to what sort of person you are. Do you trust yourself with a lump payment that you could conceivably blow through in short order, or would you be more comfortable knowing that you've got nearly 30 years of payments coming your way?