A Lotto Secret: Cottage Hills Bar Manager Knows Who Won The $8.9 Million Lottery

Written By Derek Helling on August 11, 2021

A Cottage Hills Bar & Grill customer has yet to claim their $8.9 million lottery prize. Staff say they know who the winner is but aren’t spilling the beans.

The winning numbers to the July 31 Illinois Lotto drawing were 11, 35, 39,46, 47, 49 and 3.

The Illinois restaurant staying quiet and the winner not rushing to get their check are good signs actually. On top of getting a bonus for the sale, the bar is enjoying some perks of maintaining silence in this instance as well.

What we know about the Cottage Hills lottery winner

What do we know about the lottery winner? Not much.

According to the Illinois Lottery, the play hit the progressive jackpot in the July 31 drawing for the Lotto game. The prize is worth $8.9 million before taxes.

Until the winner claims the prize, the person’s identity is a mystery.

Melissa, the manager of the Cottage Hills establishment located east of Alton, said:

“We do actually know who won. They are one of our regulars and we all agree that they definitely deserve this win!”

The bar will get a bonus for the sale. In Illinois, lottery retailers get 1% of the prize amount for such lotto sales. That means a cool $89,000 (again, before taxes) is headed the bar’s way.

In the press release, Melissa commented about the bonus:

“We are a new business; this is only our third year here. We have had our ups and downs since opening the doors, so this money will help ensure our future with our business.”

The bonus money isn’t the only perk, though. According to the restaurant manager, Cottage Hills has seen “a lot more customers” since the announcement of lotto win.

Maintaining the winner’s anonymity could be helping that cause, too.

When claiming your lotto prize, anonymity is best

It’s quite typical for lottery retailers to see a surge of lotto sales after selling a ticket that hits on a large prize. Although there is no actual evidence that buying a ticket at such a location improves players’ chances of winning, the news often acts as a reminder for consumers of the games.

In many of these instances, the buzz lasts longer if the winner’s identity remains a secret. People are naturally curious about who might have gotten such a windfall and especially interested to discover if they have any connections to the winner.

So, if you have won the lottery, it’s best to not divulge your identity. Until you’re ready to claim your lottery prize from the Illinois Lottery, you can avoid the publicity.

Hopefully, this Illinois Lotto prize winner is currently using this time to work with an attorney and financial adviser to make a plan. Doing so cannot only limit tax liability but also make the value grow over time.

An attorney can also draft a strategy to protect the winner from scams. The bar is also doing its part.

Photo by Dreamstime.com
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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