Home>US News>There’s a winner! Ticket sold for $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot in South Carolina
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There’s a winner! Ticket sold for $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot in South Carolina


A very lucky and very rich Mega Millions ticket owner has won the record $1.537 billion jackpot – and we may never know the winner’s identity.

Mega Millions officials say a ticket purchased in South Carolina matches all six numbers in Tuesday night’s drawing. The massive jackpot fell just short of the nation’s biggest prize, a $1.586 Powerball windfall that drew three winning tickets in 2016. The Mega Millions prize is the largest for only one ticket.

Officials had forecast a U.S. record $1.6 billion prize, but ticket sales came in slightly below expectations. Still, the final total did set the Mega Millions record.

“The moment we’ve been waiting for finally arrived, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Gordon Medenica, director of the Mega Millions Group and head of Maryland Lottery and Gaming. “This is truly a historic occasion.”

South Carolina, however, is one of several states that does not require lottery winners to publicly reveal their identities. The winner or winners can quietly claim the annuity, or more likely the cash option of $877.8 million, and disappear.

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Lottery players can now turn their attention to Wednesday night’s $620 million Powerball prize. It’s been more than two months since Powerball saw a grand prize winner, when New Yorker Nandlall Mangal was the sole winner of $245.6 million.

The bloated prizes are a function of a jackpot drought. Mega Millions last saw a jackpot winner on July 24 when 11 California co-workers shared a cool $543 million – the largest prize ever won on a single Mega Millions ticket.

The drought isn’t entirely luck, either. Mega Millions tweaked its game a year ago, dropping the odds of winning the grand prize from one in 259 million to one in 302 million. Mega Millions also doubled the entry ticket price from $1 to $2. The result: three of the six largest payouts in a game that started more than 20 years ago.

But the U.S. record did not fall as anticipated Tuesday night, Mega Millions tweeted Wednesday: “BREAKING: The final #MegaMillions winning jackpot amount is $1.537 BILLION! This means it does NOT break the largest jackpot record set by #Powerball!”

Tuesday’s Mega Millions winning numbers were 5, 28, 62, 65, 70 and Mega Ball 5. No details on where the winning ticket was sold were immediately available, but the information was expected to be released later Wednesday. The outlet that sold the ticket gets $50,000.

The sales frenzy leading up to Tuesday’s drawing also produced an amazing 36 second prize tickets – each matching the five white balls drawn Tuesday night. Eight were in California, four in Florida and New York, two in Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey and Virginia, and one each in Arizona, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

Those tickets are worth a cool $1 million, except for the ticket holder in Texas and one in Florida. They bought the optional Megaplier, so those two tickets are worth $3 million each. 

This would be the first Mega Millions jackpot winner in South Carolina, according to the lottery’s website. South Carolina uses funds generated from lottery ticket sales to fund education programs.

“We’re so happy for the winner, and we know the South Carolina Education Lottery can’t wait to meet the lucky ticket holder,” Medenica said.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. For its faithful fans, the next drawing on Friday will have a jackpot valued at $40 million, with a cash option of $22.8 million. Give or take.

Not headline-grabbing numbers, but enough to knock out that car payment.

Contributing: Dalvin Brown



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