Record $1.5 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot Is Finally Claimed

Tuesday March 5th 2019

The South Carolina player who won a record $1.5 billion on Mega Millions last October has finally claimed their money, putting an end to more than four months of speculation. The winner has opted to remain anonymous, with a lawyer coming forward on their behalf to act as spokesperson and provide a few details of their remarkable story.

What We Know About The Winner

South Carolina is one of the few states where big winners are allowed to stay anonymous. As the lucky ticket holder has taken up this option, no more information will be disclosed about their identity. However, it has been confirmed that the winner is a resident of South Carolina and they have chosen to take the cash option of over $877 million.

It is the largest payout to a single winner in United States history - or indeed for any lottery game in the world. However, it has now emerged that the player only bought their winning Quick Pick at that precise time because they allowed another customer to jump ahead of them in the queue.

The winning numbers for the drawing on October 23 were 5, 28, 62, 65 and 70, with Mega Ball 5, and the all-important ticket was bought at KC Mart#7 at 303 Lee Vaughn Road in Simpsonville.  “The winner marvels at how every decision made that day brought them to the store, at that very moment, to make the Quick Pick Mega Millions lottery ticket purchase,” said the South Carolina Lottery in a news release, adding that their good luck was the result of a ‘simple act of kindness’.

Jason Kurland of New York-based law firm Rivkin Radler has been retained by the winner to provide legal representation. Known as ‘the lottery lawyer’, he has experience of working with previous big winners and even pitched his services on national television the day before the drawing back in October.

What The Claim Means For South Carolina

The long wait for the winner to come forward had sparked fears that the prize might not be claimed in time. Tickets expire after 180 days in South Carolina, meaning the deadline for this jackpot was April 21.

If the money had not been claimed, it would have been redistributed to all 44 states - plus Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands - that take part in Mega Millions. South Carolina would also have missed out on around $61 million of income tax revenue from the winner.

“I’m glad the money stays in South Carolina. Obviously, South Carolina will reap the benefits of that,” state House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Murrell Smith (R-Sumter) said in the Post and Courier, with reports also suggesting that taxpayers in the state may get a $50 rebate as a result of the win.

The delay in coming forward also cost the winner around $40,000 a day in interest, and the longer the wait went on the more likely it seemed that the ticket had been lost. Now that the prize has been claimed, the KC Mart in Simpsonville will also receive its $50,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.

Big Mega Millions Jackpots Twice A Week

The Mega Millions jackpot won in South Carolina was by far the biggest in the history of the game, eclipsing the second place of $656 million by almost $1 billion, but the game offers huge prizes every Tuesday and Friday.

A jackpot of $267 million was won in New Jersey on Friday night, so it will reset to $40 million for the next drawing. You can go to the Mega Millions Numbers page to see the latest results straight after every draw.

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