Illinois Lottery Fever: What Illinois’ Biggest Winners Took Home
As of this writing, tonight's Mega Millions lottery jackpot stands at $660 million, which makes the 10pm drawing now the 3rd biggest jackpot ever. Only two billion-dollar jackpots have ever been higher; $1.537 billion won in South Carolina on October 23rd, 2018, and $1.050 billion won in Michigan on January 22nd, 2021.
So, for just a moment, forget about the astronomical odds against winning a lottery jackpot being about 1 in 259 million, or that you've got a better chance of being struck by lightning at 1 in 12,000--and let's just live vicariously through some winners.
Illinois' Biggest All-Time Lottery Winners Walked Away With A 9-Figure Total
According to my research and search efforts, Illinois has produced 7 winners that have taken home a figure in excess of $100 million through the Powerball or Mega Millions games (hat-tip to PortalSeven.com for the specifics):
- August 11th, 2017: Patricia Busking won the $393 million Mega Millions jackpot with a ticket purchased in Palos Heights.
- September 16th, 2016: The Elaine Francis Trust took the Mega Millions jackpot for $134 million.
- June 2, 2015: Another Mega Millions jackpot paid out big to John Williams and Neal Logue, who won $262 million.
- January 16, 2015: Turned out to be a really good day for Jesus Davila Jr., who added $265 million to his bank account after winning Mega Millions.
- May 4, 2012: Mega Millions again, this time paying out $118 million to a group calling themselves "The Dirty Dozen."
- March 30, 2012: This is the biggest of the big wins. $656 million dollars in the Mega Millions jackpot went to Merle and Patricia Butler, who bought their ticket in Red Bud, Illinois.
- December 18, 2007: A group calling themselves the JYS Family Limited Partnership didn't win half a billion dollars or better like the couple above, but I think that they were probably okay with a Mega Millions jackpot win of $163 million.