$1.6 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot won in South Carolina

Wednesday October 24th 2018

It has taken three months and 25 draws, but someone has finally won the Mega Millions jackpot, after it reached a world record amount. One ticket in South Carolina managed to match all six numbers in Tuesday night’s highly-anticipated draw to bring an end to the most incredible run of rollovers ever to be seen in the history of lotteries.

Mega Millions Results from Tuesday October 23rd

In what will go down as one of the most famous lottery draws of all time, the winning numbers from Tuesday night were 5, 28, 62, 65, and 70, with Mega Ball 5 and the 3x Megaplier.

The wait is now on to find out where in South Carolina the jackpot-winning ticket was bought, and we might not find that out straight away, as the winner will have up to 180 days to claim their prize.

The winner will have the option of taking the prize money as a cash lump sum or as an annuity. If they choose to take the annuity payout, they will receive the full advertised amount of $1.6 billion in 30 payments. The payments increase in value by 5% each year, but they will average out at around $50 million per year over the course of the annuity. The cash option is worth $913 million before tax.

The record-breaking jackpot caused a rush for ticket sales and it was estimated before the draw that 75 percent of all number combinations would be covered for this draw. Aside from the jackpot, over $116,549,138 in prize money was awarded to players across the U.S.

The Mega Millions jackpot now resets to $40 million ahead of the next draw on Friday October 26th.

How Did the Jackpot Get So High?

This new trend for huge Mega Millions jackpots can be traced back to changes in the rules that were introduced in October 2017. As part of those changes, the pool of main numbers that players had to choose from was reduced from 75 to 70, and the Mega Ball pool was increased from 15 to 25. The aim, lottery officials said, was to create bigger jackpots but more millionaires overall.

It certainly worked. Between 2002 and 2017 only four jackpots exceeded $400 million. Four more have reached the same heights in 2018 alone.

Richard Wahl from New Jersey won $533 million in March, while an office pool from Santa Clara, California, won $543 million in July. There was also a $451 million jackpot given away in January to a Floridian trust called Secret 007, LLC. Finally, there was Tuesday’s unfathomably-large jackpot of $1.6 billion.

That $543 million claimed in California was the last time the jackpot was won prior to Tuesday’s draw. Twenty-five draws had come and gone since then and it had reached the point where the jackpot was increasing by hundreds of millions of dollars with every rollover. During the last one, $600 million was added to the top prize, which is more than ten times the value of the Mega Millions starting jackpot.

This latest prize has just sneaked past the previous record $1.58 billion Powerball jackpot that was shared by three ticket holders in January 2016. It will only be a matter of time, though, before that magical billion-dollar mark will be reached again and we see another world-beating jackpot on offer.

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