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Naperville man wins $265 million Mega Millions jackpot

Jesus Davila Jr.

Drawing Date: 1/16/2015

February 24, 2015 - Naperville, Ill., resident Jesus Davila Jr. became the winner of the largest prize in Illinois Lottery history when the first line of numbers on his $5 Quick Pick ticket matched all six numbers – 26 - 32 - 44 - 45 - 58 - (11) – to win the jackpot in the Friday, January 16, Mega Millions drawing. That day, he was the only person—among the millions who bought tickets in 44 states, Washington DC, and the U.S. Virgin Islands—to match all six numbers.

Today Illinois Lottery officials presented Davila a $265 million oversized check at the James R Thompson Center in Chicago to commemorate his history-making win.

“I’ve been lucky enough to meet the two largest lottery winners in the proud history of the Illinois Lottery: the $218 million winner in March 2012 from Red Bud Illinois, and now Mr. Davila from nearby Naperville. His experience, as was the case in beautiful Red Bud, proves that anything’s possible,” said Lottery Director Michael Jones.

Davila was at home the evening of January 16 and, as he watched the televised Mega Millions drawing, he wrote the winning numbers on a piece of paper.  When he compared them to the numbers on his ticket, he thought he had matched the first five numbers to win $1million.  He showed the ticket to his son who double-checked it and immediately realized that his father’s ticket had actually matched all six numbers to win the jackpot!  “My son said, ‘You have every number here, Dad’ and then we started shouting, ‘We’re millionaires!  We’re millionaires!’ and we couldn’t stop giggling and laughing!” Davila said.

After spending a couple of weeks consulting with family members and professional financial advisors, Davila was ready to come forward and claim his prize. He was calm and quiet as he removed the folded $265 million winning ticket from the front pocket of his jeans, smoothed out the creases, and presented it to staff at the Illinois Lottery Prize Center in Des Plaines two weeks ago.  

Davila, 70, is a retired, professional driver. Originally from Puerto Rico, he came to the United States when he was only six years old and lived in Chicago until five years ago when he moved to Naperville to be closer to family.  He has three sons, one daughter, and four grandchildren.  He plans to share the windfall with his family, invest, and donate to his favorite charities.  “I would also like to buy a big house with a really big lawn… and a riding lawn mower!”

Davila opted to take his prize as a one-time payment of $178,091,398.  After the required withholding (25 percent federal, 3.75 percent state), Davila will receive a payment of $126,890,121. The Glendale Heights store that sold the $265 million winning Mega Millions ticket is Bucky’s Express, 1202 Bloomingdale Road.  The retailer received a $500,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket. “It’s worth noting that during the run up to this enormous Mega Millions prize, tickets sales generated more than $10 million for the state’s Common School Fund,” said Jones.