After selling lotto ticket worth $1 million, Huntley gas station draws others hoping to get lucky

Prince Joseph Israel fills out Mega Millions playslips at Blue Bird Liquor in Hawthorne, Calif., Tuesday, July 26, 2022.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Does a lucky winner equal a lucky gas station? After learning earlier this week that they had sold a winning lllinois lottery ticket worth $1 million, a gas station in Huntley has seen a major uptick in lottery ticket sales over the past two days, employee Stephanie Drougas said.

The Illinois State Lottery announced in a news release Wednesday that the $1 million ticket was bought at JM Food Shop on of Route 47 in Huntley as part of Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing.

“You wouldn’t believe how many tickets we’ve sold over the past two days,” Drougas said. “There’s been a lot of buzz with people coming in; everybody is trying to be the next winner. It’s been fun here.”

The Mega Millions jackpot is now up to more than $1 billion, according to the release. So far this year, only three tickets have been worth as much as $1 million, including the one from Huntley, lottery officials said in the release.

As of Thursday evening, the winner had not yet claimed their prize, and their identity was unknown, as well as when the ticket was purchased, despite being the source of speculation at the Huntley store, Drougas said.

“Hopefully, we will know eventually,” Drougas said. “For all we know, it was somebody who lives in California stopping for gas. But we want to know who was working at that time.”

When the winner comes forward, they won’t be able to cash in their ticket at the gas station, as retailers are allowed to pay out only as much as $600, Drougas said.

While Drougas jokingly predicted “lighting will strike twice,” the gas station did sell a scratch-off ticket earlier in the spring that was worth $50,000, she said.

The next Mega Millions drawing will be Friday, lottery officials said in the release.