Powerball Jumps To $550 Million

Illinois Lottery Offers Tools for Winners and Office Pool Players

For Immediate Release Contact: Chanele Newton (312) 368-5814

Chicago, IL—May 16, 2013 — With the Powerball jackpot now at well over half-a-billion dollars—an astounding $550 million (cash value $350.1 million), and Mega Millions standing at $190 million (cash value $140 million), there’s one conversation taking place across Illinois: What would I do with that kind of money? A lottery win of this magnitude is a life-changing event that can be made even more enjoyable by exercising common sense and thoughtful planning.

Toward that end, the Illinois Lottery offers winners guidance via its Winners’s Handbook available on the Lottery’s website, This document helps people navigate the lottery claims process and other areas that await a new lottery winner.

  • How Does The Lottery’s Payment System Work? Annuity Option Or Cash Option

  • What Will I Pay In Taxes?

  • Estate Planning And Forms.

The Winner’s Handbook offers sound advice on building a team of professional advisors, screening potential financial planners, and handling requests for donations. The site contains answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding tax withholdings, and other topics of interest to winners.

“The Winner’s Handbook offers something to everyone who wins a substantial Lottery prize,” said Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones. “Winning the Lottery is an exciting experience, but many people don’t know where to begin to assemble a team of financial and legal advisors. The handbook’s tips are designed to make claiming a large lottery prize a smooth and enjoyable process.”

Jones said players should sign the back of their tickets as soon as they buy them (Lottery tickets are bearer instruments). And, if they are playing in an office or lottery pool, copies of tickets purchased for the group should be provided to everyone prior to the drawing. Visit the Group Play page on the Lottery’s website to review:

  • Group Play 101: How Lottery Pools Work, How To Play And Tips For Success.

  • How To Set Up A Lottery Pool: Our Easy Step-By-Step Guide For Setting Up A Lottery Pool.

  • Resources: Templates And Printouts To Help Make Your Lottery Pool A Success.

Acquiring a large sum of money opens a whole new set of responsibilities. Building a smart foundation and making informed, responsible decisions helps winners get the most from their Lottery windfall.


  • Introduced in Illinois on January 31, 2010.
  • IL has had 27 Match 5 winners since January 18, 2012; Match 5 winners receive $1,000,000 each which increases to $2,000,000 if they select the Power Play game option. Two of the 27 Match 5 winners have won $2,000,000
  • Current jackpot at $550 million; cash value of $350.1 million; after withholding: $245 million
  • Overall odds of winning the jackpot 1:175,000,000
  • Drawings are at 9:59 PM (CT) every Wednesday and Saturday.
  • Powerball is played in 45 lottery jurisdictions across the country.
  • Jackpots start at $40 million.


  • Current jackpot is $190 million with a cash option of $140 million; after withholding: $98 million
  • Overall odds of winning the jackpot 1:175,711,536
  • Mega Millions is a multi-state lottery game played in 43 states plus the District of Columbia and the U. S. Virgin Islands for a total of 45 jurisdictions
  • Mega Millions jackpots start at $12 million
  • The very first jackpot Mega Millions winning ticket was sold on May 17, 2002, in Chatham, IL and resulted in a $28 million jackpot prize
  • Drawings are held Tuesdays and Fridays at 10 p.m. CST


About Illinois Lottery

Founded in 1974, the Illinois Lottery has contributed over $20 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 Players must be at least 18 years old.