IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

We don’t know who won the $1.34B jackpot — and here’s why we may never find out

One ticket sold in Des Plaines, Illinois, matched the winning numbers, but the purchaser has not stepped forward.

Someone in Illinois became a billionaire overnight Saturday. But will we ever know who they are?

One ticket sold at the Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, Illinois, matched the winning numbers of 13, 36, 45, 57 and 67, plus the Mega Ball of 14, making the purchaser the winner of the $1.34 billion prize.

The prize was initially estimated at $1.2 billion but increased due to last-minute ticket sales, according to Illinois lottery officials.

As of Monday, the winner had not stepped forward, and the public may never know their identity as Illinois is one of a handful of states that allows some winners the option of remaining anonymous.

In Illinois, winners of more than $250,000 can request to keep their name and city of residence secret, according to the Illinois Lottery.

"We have not heard from the winner yet," Harold Mays, director of the Illinois lottery, said during a press conference Saturday. "We don’t know whether or not they’re aware they’ve won this incredible prize. So we’re telling all of our players — check your tickets."

Mays added winners often take their time to privately come forward in the state.

"We’ve seen it — the players tend to take more time because they want one make sure that they get their affairs in order and sort of go about again and hopefully a strategic way for them and their family," Mays said.

Winners have 12 months from the date of the drawing to claim their prize the largest in Illinois history but only 60 days to choose between the lump sum cash payout or annual payments.

Friday's prize was the second-largest Mega Millions jackpot in the history of the game, and it was so large because no one had drawn all six numbers since April 15.

The largest Mega Millions jackpot was sold in 2018 to a lucky winner in South Carolina who chose to remain anonymous while claiming the $1.5 billion prize. Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota and Ohio are among the other states that don't require winners to come forward publicly.

If Friday's winner chooses the lump sum option, they will receive an estimated $780 million, Mays said. The Speedway gas station that sold the prize will also receive a bonus of $500,000.

Photo of mega millions cards.
The Mega Millions jackpot has surpassed $1 billion for the third time in the history of the lottery.Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Some Des Plaines residents were kicking themselves for not stopping in.

"I actually didn’t buy one here for some reason," Lionel Salongo told NBC. "I’m regretting it. Absolutely, I’m regretting it."

Other patrons said they are going to keep playing.

"I got my Mega Millions for the next drawing," Patrick Brendt told NBC. "I’m still hopeful even though I didn’t win the big money. I’m still gonna keep going."