Lottery

Mega Millions $1.5 billion winning ticket sold in South Carolina, state lottery says

The SC Lottery has a message to the Mega Millions winner

The South Carolina Education Lottery announces winner in $1.5 billion Mega Millions contest Wednesday Oct. 24, 2018, in Simpsonville, SC.
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The South Carolina Education Lottery announces winner in $1.5 billion Mega Millions contest Wednesday Oct. 24, 2018, in Simpsonville, SC.

The South Carolina Education Lottery is reporting that a winning ticket to the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot was sold in the Palmetto State.

South Carolina Lottery officials said the winning ticket was sold at the KC Mart #7 at 303 Lee Vaughn Road in Simpsonville, about 90 miles northwest of Columbia in Greenville County.

The winner had not yet come forward as of midday Wednesday, state officials said at a 1 p.m. press event outside the store.

“We don’t know at this point whether it’s one person or a group of persons, or anything about the identity of the player,” said S.C. Education Lottery chief operating officer Toney Cooper, as he stood outside the store.

Mega Millions said in a press release Wednesday that the ticket was sold in S.C., with the numbers 5, 28, 62, 65 ,70 and a mega number 5. Mega Millions officials referred to the $1.537 billion jackpot as “historic.”

In addition to the big prize announcement, the North Carolina Education Lottery confirmed two people in North Carolina won $1 million each in the Mega Millions drawing: One in Cary and one outside Charlotte in the Union County town of Monroe.

There has not been a Mega Millions ticket sold with “all six numbers” matching the drawing since July 24, allowing the jackpot to roll over for 13 consecutive weeks and for the prize to swell.

The winner will have up to 180 days to claim their prize, said a release from Lottery.net, a site devoted to lottery news.

It marks the first time South Carolina has sold Mega Millions jackpot winning ticket, said state lottery officials.

The S.C. Education Lottery tweeted out a message to the winner early Wednesday. “Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment!” said the tweet, adding: “Sign the back of the ticket, place the ticket in a safe location, speak with a trusted adviser and call the lottery.”

South Carolina is one of just over a half dozen states that allows lottery winners to remain anonymous, including, Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas.

The South Education Lottery announces winner in $1.5 billion Mega Millions contest Wednesday Oct. 24, 2018, in Simpsonville, SC.

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This screenshot shows that one jackpot winning ticket to the $1.6 billion Mega Millions was sold in South Carolina. South Carolina Education Lottery

The winner has the option of taking the cash lump sum of $878 million cash, or an annuity of $1.5 billion in 30 payments. “The payments increase in value by 5 percent each year, but they will average out at around $50 million per year over the course of the annuity,” says Lottery.net.

The odds of winning Tuesday’s Mega Millions jackpot were 1 in 303 million, according to the S.C. Lottery.

In addition to the massive payout, there could be another historical aspect to the jackpot. In January, the S.C. Lottery said the Palmetto State hadn’t ever before produced a Mega Millions jackpot winner, The State reported.

The lottery jackpot now falls to $40 million and the next Mega Millions drawing is Friday, said a Mega Millions press release.

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Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs

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