There’s a chance the identity of the winner of the $1.337 billion Mega Millions jackpot will never be known — thanks to an Illinois law allowing people who score more than $250,000 to keep their names secret.
The winning ticket to the mind-boggling fortune was sold at the Speedy Cafe Speedway gas station in Des Plaines, lottery officials have said.
No one has come forward yet to claim the massive prize — with lotto officials saying it’s not even clear whether the winner was an individual or pool.
Illinois is one of a few states that allow lotto winners the option of anonymity.
Some other states offer some form of lotto anonymity, including New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas and Wyoming, according to a list compiled by Fox News.
But in New York, winners should expect to be required to attend a public announcement or press event, according to the state lottery’s website.
“The New York Lottery is a government agency and Lottery prizes are public funds, so we owe it to all our players to disclose the names of winners,” the site says.
Still, lotto anonymity has gained momentum in recent years, including in New York, where a proposal was passed the state legislature in 2019 before being vetoed by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Cuomo’s 2019 veto message advised winners who wish to try to keep their identity hidden to create an LLC to collect the winnings on their behalf.
The winner of the all-time high ticket — for $1.537 billion, purchased in South Carolina in 2018 — has yet to be revealed.