Largest prize in Illinois Lottery history is claimed!

Palos Heights resident wins $393 million Mega Millions jackpot

RELEASE DATE: 8/25/2017

CHICAGO, IL — Palos Heights resident Patricia Busking became the winner of the largest prize in Illinois Lottery history when the second line of numbers on her $5 Quick Pick ticket matched all six numbers – 23 - 33 - 53 - 56 - 58 - (06) – in the Friday, August 11, Mega Millions drawing. Today, at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago, Illinois Lottery officials presented Busking a $393 million ceremonial check to commemorate her history-making win.

Busking, a retired health care worker, and her husband, Joe, have lived in Palos Heights for 13 years. She was at home the morning after the drawing when Joe heard on the radio that the jackpot-winning Mega Millions ticket was purchased in Palos Heights. She rushed to check the winning numbers in the newspaper and was stunned to see that they matched the numbers on her ticket. She immediately signed the back of the ticket, becoming the single largest Mega Millions prize winner in Illinois Lottery history.

After spending a week consulting with family members and professional financial advisors, Busking was ready to come forward and claim her prize, which she opted to take as a one-time payment of $246 million. She plans to share the money with her family and friends, and donate to her favorite charities.

An occasional Mega Millions and Powerball player, Busking said she buys tickets when the jackpots are really high, and always buys Quick Picks. She bought her winning ticket at Nick’s Barbecue, 12658 S. Harlem Ave., in Palos Heights, when she and Joe decided to stop there to buy steak sandwiches for dinner. “We were in the right place at the right time!”

Nick’s Barbecue will receive a $500,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket. This jackpot is the fifth largest in Mega Millions history and rolled 30 times since it was last won Friday, April 28. For more information, please visit

Quick Mega Millions Facts
Jackpots start at $15 million
Overall odds of winning the jackpot 1:258,890,850
Drawings are at 10 p.m. (CT) every Tuesday and Friday
Previous Mega Millions jackpot winning tickets sold in Illinois include:
- March 2012, $219 million ($656 million jackpot split 3 ways – Maryland, Kansas & Illinois) winning ticket sold in Red Bud
- January 2015, $270 million jackpot winning ticket sold in Naperville
- June 2015, $260 million jackpot winning ticket sold in Blue Island
- September 2016, $133 million jackpot winning ticket sold in Tuscola
About the Illinois Lottery
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $19 billion (since 1985) to the state’s Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars to the Capital Projects Fund and to special causes like Illinois Veterans services, the fight against breast cancer, MS research, Special Olympics and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to playing in-store, the Illinois Lottery offers online and mobile play for all draw-based Illinois Lottery games at Players must be at least 18 years old.

Media contact: Christopher Gallo, Illinois Lottery,