'I didn’t believe it': Illinois iLottery player planning European vacation after snagging $986K jackpot prize

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CHICAGO — A lucky lotto player is rolling into the weekend nearly $1 million richer after hitting the jackpot while playing a $20 game on the Illinois Lottery app.

According to officials from the Illinois Lottery, the big winner, who has chosen to remain anonymous, had just gotten done walking his dog when he decided to play an iLottery game, but he could barely believe his eyes once he was handed a jackpot win.

“I had just come in from walking the dog and was about to hit the hay when I decided to play a game on the Lottery app. That’s when – boom! – I won the jackpot,” the big winner said. “With this game, you find out right away if you win – but I didn’t believe it.”

Lottery officials say the jackpot winner snagged a $986,932 prize while playing Twenty 20s, a progressive Fast Play game with a jackpot that starts at $50,000 and climbs each time a ticket is sold, either in person or online, through the Illinois Lottery app.

But despite the undeniable proof, the shock of the massive win took a moment to settle in for the winner and his wife.

“I took a screenshot to show my wife, and even she didn’t believe it. It wasn’t until I claimed the prize that we both realized, it’s actually real. It was definitely a shock, but let’s face it, this is a very good shock,” The lotto player said.

While it took a moment for the lucky player to recognize the win, it doesn’t appear he has had a hard time deciding how to spend the cash.

“We are planning a European vacation with our family,” the lotto player said.

After taxes, the big winner will take home about $701,215, which equals out to about $236,863 in federal taxes and about $48,853 in state taxes, according to TaxAct’s Lottery Tax Calculator.

Twenty-20s cost $20 per ticket and players have a 1 in 3.27 chance of winning a prize, but the jackpot odds are much higher at 1 in 80,0000.

The big winner claimed one of more than over 567,000 winning Twenty 20s tickets sold this year, which have netted players more than $32.5 million in prizes.

Illinois Lottery offered details about the big win on Friday morning but did not disclose the name of the winner or the date of the win.

Fast Play Winners have one year from the date of winning to claim their prizes.