Chicago Man Wins Largest Instant Game Prize In Illinois Lottery History--$20,000 A Week For 20 Years
27-Year-Old Wins $20.8 million; Says Family and Charity Come First
Anel Bajtarevic displays his winning 20X20 instant ticket.
|For Immediate Release||Contact: Karina Rosado 312-368-5831|
Chicago, IL—July 9, 2013 — Anel Bajtarevic had no idea that a trip to the grocery store would change his life forever. “I went to buy my groceries like I usually do, and on my way out of the store I noticed the lottery self-service machine. The 20X20 $20,000 A Week for 20 Years game instantly caught my eye.” By purchasing a ticket the lucky Chicago resident won the largest instant game prize in Illinois Lottery history, $20,000 a week for 20 years (paid annually: $1,000,040 less withholding tax).
Today, Illinois Lottery officials presented Bajtarevic with a ceremonial check for $20,800,000, representing the total gross payments over the twenty years.
Bajtarevic was in the store when he scratched his 20X20 ticket. “When I saw the 20X symbol, I couldn’t believe my eyes.” He went to the customer service desk to scan the barcode and was surprised to see the message “file a claim” appear. After having a clerk double-check the ticket and confirm his win, he signed the back of his ticket and put it in his wallet for safekeeping. “I am still in shock! I told my parents and they didn’t believe me. They came over right away to see the ticket for themselves.”
An only child, born and raised in Chicago by his Bosnian family, Bajtarevic says he will take care of his parents. “My family is my priority.” He plans to pay off his parents’ mortgage and bills, and send them on a nice vacation. Additional plans for his lottery win are to buy a house and donate to charity. “I will definitely support a charity, but I haven’t decided which one yet.”
Bajtarevic owns a small trucking business. For the last two years his focus has been to grow his company by hiring more staff and purchasing equipment. “This lottery win will make all of that possible,” he said.
“The Lottery’s 20X20 instant game was the product of outstanding marketing coordination between our staff and the private manager’s marketing team at Northstar Lottery Group. We knew that the grand prize would be the largest ever in our instant product category and we’re so happy that an outstanding young man with such a wonderful family won it,” said Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones. “Like most winners of large lottery prizes, Anel has thought first about sharing his good fortune with others: his parents, a charity, expanding his business and helping the Illinois economy…it’s the stuff dreams are made of. And proves, as all lottery wins do, that anything’s possible.”
The winning ticket was purchased at Dominick’s, 1763 West Howard Street in Chicago. The Illinois Lottery presented Dominick’s a ceremonial check for $208,000, equal to 1 percent of the prize amount, for selling the winning ticket. “Dominick’s is proud to partner with the Illinois Lottery, in these efforts that bring good fortune to our customers and support education initiatives within our state,” said Brian Baer, President of Dominick’s. “Congratulations to Anel and to our store team!”
The 20X20 $20,000 A Week for 20 Years instant ticket offers the largest instant prize of any instant game in Illinois Lottery history. There are still two unclaimed prizes available in the game. All prizes are paid over a twenty-year timeframe; there is no lump sum cash payment available. The overall odds of winning a prize are 2.71 to 1. For more information, please visit www.illinoislottery.com.
Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $18 billion 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, the fight against breast cancer, MS research, and assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to playing in-store, the Illinois Lottery offers online and mobile play for Mega Millions, Powerball and Lotto at www.illinoislottery.com. Players must be at least 18 years old.