CHICAGO, Ill. – An Illinois Lottery player from the Chicagoland area recently received a life-changing email from the state lottery, telling him he’d won a prize.

“You need to go check your account. You’ve won,” Harold Mays, director of the Illinois Lottery, said. “It’s just a basic messaging email. The player was very attentive; he saw that he had a notice that he won, and he went to go check to see what it was.”

The player matched all five Mega Millions numbers and the Mega Ball, 19-37-40-63-69-17, to win the $552 million jackpot in the June 4 drawing. The player purchased their ticket electronically via the iLottery app.

“We were actually the first state to sell lottery tickets online back in 2012,” Mays said. “That is one of our benefits and conveniences for our players for quite a while.”

Mega Millions is played in 47 states nationwide, with two draw days a week and nine ways to win. Players have a 1 in 37 chance of winning a minimum of $2.

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“You see people engaging online for a lot of things,” says Mays. “Again, we’ve been selling them for a while. We’re hoping to see that trend continue but most of our sales are in retail.

“…And the app tracks your positioning, so it knows that you’re in Illinois when you purchased.”

Illinois players can register for an account and download the app. Players can buy tickets on their mobile device without ever leaving their home.

“My daughter plays on her app,” Julian Hampton, lottery player, said. “How often she wins, I don’t know.”

“I’m a rotary phone man,” James Cameron, lottery player, said. “I don’t do all that high-tech. See, I like to just lose my money when I lose my money.”

The Illinois Lottery turning 50 years old this year. The Common School Fund is the Illinois Lottery’s primary benefactor.

“We’ve generated close to $25 million in proceeds for education over that time,” Mays said.