CHICAGO – March 20, 2008 – After three months of anticipation, a member of the Illinois Lottery Mega Millions partnership from the December 18, 2007, drawing revealed herself to the public. The spokesperson for the JYS Family Limited Partnership, an unidentified female—a pharmacist by trade—was accompanied by her attorney and estate planner to answer any questions the media had during a press conference yesterday.
Jodie Winnett, acting superintendent for the Illinois Lottery, presented the JYS Family Limited Partnership with an oversized check for $81.5 million yesterday at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. The winning amount is half of the $163 million jackpot, which is shared with a New Jersey winner.
Although they knew they had won, the JYS Family Limited Partnership waited three months to step forward to ensure they sought the proper financial and legal guidance before claiming their prize. “We were thrilled to win,” she said, “but I’m a patient person so I wanted to be patient and do the right thing before coming forward.
“We applaud this partnership for obtaining legal and financial counsel before claiming their prize and are proud to showcase this amazing Lottery success story” said Winnett. Terry Zimmer, the JYS Family Limited Partnership attorney, noted, “we have taken legal actions to protect the winners and their family, and they have been very patient in making sure everything was in order before claiming the winnings. We’ve assisted the family with estate planning, as well as offered vehicles for future investment protection."
Purchased as a “quick-pick,” while fiing up her car with gas, the JYS Family Partnership representative shared with the audience, “after my husband found out that there was a Mega Millions winner in our area, he asked me for my ticket so he could look online to see if we were the winners. When we realized that I had the winning ticket, we both started screaming.”
The JYS Family Limited Partnership has decided to take the lump sum pay-out, which will amount to approximately $50 million after taxes, and plan to use their winnings to pay off their mortgage and travel.
The winning ticket was sold at Shell at 851 S. Sutton Rd. in Streamwood, Ill. They will receive a $500,000 bonus for selling the ticket.
Mega Millions debuted on May 15, 2002, replacing the Big Game. Currently, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, Texas and Georgia are members of the Mega Millions group. Tickets cost $1. Drawings are held Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 p.m. CST and broadcast on WGN-TV. Tickets can be purchased in Illinois until 9:45 p.m. Prizes range from $2 to the jackpot.
About the Illinois Lottery
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery is a state agency with annual sales over $2 billion. Since its inception, the Lottery has contributed more than $14 billion to the state Common School Fund to assist K-12 public schools. Players must be at least 18 years old. For more information on the Illinois Lottery please visit our Web site at http://www.illinoislottery.com.