Claiming the Illinois Lottery

If you think that you are the lucky winner of the Illinois lottery, congratulations are in order. This lottery is one of the best in the country, offering players the chance to win a huge amount in games ranging from simple scratch cards to the Mega Millions jackpot. If you think that you have won a game, first of all check the numbers on the state’s official lottery site before deciding what to do next. Whatever you decide, don’t do anything hasty — after all, you have up to a whole year to claim your prize.

If you have won $600 or less on the Illinois lottery, you simply need to make your way down to the retailer to claim your prize. However, if the sum is more, you will need to fill out a claims form through the retailer or directly through the official lottery office. The higher the sum of your winnings, the more likely it is that you will want to claim the prize in person from the lottery office. If this is the case, don’t forget to bring a form of photo ID and proof of your social security number.

If the Illinois lottery prize is exceptionally big (for example, the Mega Millions jackpot) you will need to decide whether to take the money in one lump sum (approximately 50% of the amount after taxes) or whether to get paid out in 26 annual payments. It is advisable to get financial advise regarding your choice before making such an important decision. Be prepared to have your name and home town details appearing in the press, however (unlike some rogue online casino and online poker websites) the lottery offices will not advertise your address or telephone numbers, in a show of respect for your privacy.