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Whoever the mystery Mega Million winners is, the SC Lottery has a message for you

Nobody has stepped forward yet to claim the $1.5 billion jackpot from a Mega-Millions ticket that was sold in Simpsonville, South Carolina, lotto officials said Thursday.

But the South Carolina Education Lottery has a message for the person or group with the lucky ticket.

“We want you to take a deep breath, and before you come forward to claim the prize, sign the back of the ticket, secure the ticket in a safe location and seek council from a trusted financial planner, CPA, or lawyer,” the lotto’s Chief Operating Officer Tony Cooper said in a press conference Wednesday.

The winner has 180 days to claim the jackpot, which was won on a ticket sold at the KC Mart #7 on Lee Vaughn Road in Simpsonville.

Sending a message to the winner Thursday, lotto officials said, “One of the first decisions the winner must make is a choice between the cash option of approximately $878 million or the annuity, the full jackpot amount paid out in yearly payments over 29 years.”

“Until the winner comes forward, presents the ticket and the ticket is validated as the winning ticket –there is no winner to announce,” the press release noted.

The winner or winners should take their ticket to the Lottery’s Claims Center on Assembly St. in Columbia during regular business hours Monday through Friday.

South Carolina is one of seven states that allows winners to remain anonymous.

Charles Duncan: 843-626-0301, @duncanreporting

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