Jan 18, 2015, 8:47 am
By Todd Northrop
An Illinois lottery player won the first jackpot of 2015, worth an estimated $270 million in a Mega Millions drawing Friday.
The ticket, a "quick pick" meaning the numbers were selected randomly by the lottery terminal, was sold at Bucky's Express, 1202 Bloomingdale Road in west suburban Glendale Heights, said Illinois Lottery spokesman Mike Lang.
The store will receive a $500,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
It is the largest prize in Illinois Lottery history, and the eighth Mega Millions jackpot won by an Illinois player since Mega Millions began in 2002.
The lucky person, who has not yet claimed the prize, is the first Mega Millions jackpot winner in Illinois since May 4, 2012. That jackpot was won by a lottery pool at a bakery, where two workers sued to claim a chunk of the prize. (See Two workers in lottery pool sue over $118 million ticket, Lottery Post, May 17, 2012.)
The suit was not decided until the following year, but additional lawsuits delayed the prize payout. (See Judge won't give bakery workers partial lottery prize, Lottery Post, Mar. 1, 2013.)
The winning numbers drawn Friday were 26, 32, 44, 45, and 58, with Mega Ball number 11. The Megaplier was 3.
In the same drawing, two $1 million second-tier prizes were won by tickets sold in Florida and in New York.
The $270 million jackpot start building from its $15 million starting point on Nov. 4. In that time, more than 21 drawings have produced more than 37.7 million winning tickets across all prize levels, including the one jackpot winner and 25 second-tier prizes of $1 million or more.
The jackpot has a cash value of $177 million, or $126.11 million after withholding. The overall odds of winning the jackpot were 1 in 258,890,850.
In 2014, nine Mega Millions jackpots were won, including a $414 million prize shared by winning tickets in Florida and Maryland in March.
Lang said the Illinois winner has a year to come forward.
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