An Oak Park family of five has become the first-ever Powerball winner in Illinois, grabbing $18.75 million in winnings, the Illinois Lottery announced last week.
The family — which has asked the lotto to remain unnamed — bought the winning ticket Dec. 11 at Thornton's gas station in Forest Park (601 Harlem). Asked to be identified as the "Shim Partnership," according to the Illinois Lottery, the family is splitting $37.5 million in winnings with another prizewinner in Kentucky.
The Shim Partnership reportedly bought the ticket just before leaving for a family vacation. The two self-employed parents don't frequently play, according to the lottery, but felt lucky because it was their son's birthday. In a state of "disbelief," the family discovered their winning numbers on their son's phone the next day.
Wednesday Journal confirmed the family's name through multiple sources but calls to their Oak Park home were not returned. The lottery released the family's picture last week, but we're honoring their request to remain unnamed.
The winning ticket had the numbers 1, 8, 10, 19 and 20, with a Powerball number of 23. The family has decided to take the one-time cash payment, and after taxes, they'll take home about $6.8 million, according to lottery spokesman Tracy Owens.
Meanwhile, Thornton's in Forest Park gets a windfall of $187,000 for selling the winning ticket.
Powerball has been around since 1988 and will mark the anniversary of its first drawing in Illinois on Feb. 3.