$1.5 Billion South Carolina Mega Millions Jackpot Winner Gives Back

Friday March 15th 2019 $1.5 Billion South Carolina Mega Millions Jackpot Winner Gives Back

The South Carolina woman who won the biggest jackpot payout to a single winner in U.S. history is giving back and sharing her prize with local good causes.

The woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, was the sole jackpot winner in the October 23, 2018 Mega Millions drawing.

The advertised jackpot was $1.5 billion, which is the amount the winner would have received if she took the prize money as annuity payments over 29 years. However, she opted for the one-time lump sum amount of $877,784,124 million.

The winner chose to keep her identity private because she wants to “live a life of relative normalcy, free of fear,” according to a statement issued by her lawyer on Thursday.

Through her statement, we now know a little more about the winner. She is from South Carolina, and last October she took a "scenic drive during some down time" on the two-lane Highway 417 near Greenville, when she noticed promotions for the record jackpot at the KC Mart in Simpsonville.

“She decided to take a chance and purchase a ticket, never once thinking she had the slightest chance to win,” read the statement. “After checking her ticket the morning after the drawing, she was in complete shock and disbelief. She stared motionless at the ticket for what felt like hours, then came the jumping and screams of joy.”

The winner used Quick Pick, letting the lottery computer choose her numbers at random. She also let another customer go ahead of her in line to buy their tickets.

The winner took 131 days to claim her enormous prize, leading to intense speculation about whether the ticket might have been lost and if the jackpot would ever be claimed.

She spent the time carefully researching how to stay anonymous and how best to manage her huge windfall with the help of lawyers and financial advisors.

“I do realize that such good fortune carries a tremendous social responsibility, and it gives me a unique opportunity to assist, support and contribute to charities and causes that are close to my heart,” the winner said in her statement.

The winner has already donated to a number of local good causes, wishing to "show her appreciation" to South Carolina and Simpsonville. The charities she has given to include the City of Simpsonville Art Center; the One SC Fund for hurricane relief; the Ronald McDonald House in Columbia; In The Middle, a breast cancer charity in Columbia; and the Red Cross relief fund for victims of the recent Alabama tornadoes.

The owner of the KC Mart, who always said he had no idea who bought the winning ticket, has also benefited from a $50,000 bonus after the prize was finally claimed.

South Carolina is also offering a $50 check to every income tax payer in the state, linked to the $61 million in state income taxes the winner will pay.

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