Lottery officials on Monday announced that a South Carolina resident had stepped forward to claim the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot from last October — the largest jackpot payout to a single winner in U.S. history — but elected to remain anonymous.
A lottery commission statement said the person submitting the claim for what was the second-largest lottery in U.S. history has chosen the cash option, a one-time payment of nearly $878,000,000.
The biggest jackpot in U.S. history — a $1.585 billion Powerball prize won on Jan. 13, 2016 — was split between buyers in three states. That jackpot also had some mystery as the California winners didn’t come forward until about six months later.
We are delighted that the winner is a South Carolinian and has come forward to claim this remarkable prize,” said Hogan Brown, the Commission’s Executive Director. “We respect the winner’s decision to remain anonymous, and we will honor the winner’s wishes.”
The commission said the winner “marvels at how every decision made that day brought the winner to the store, at that very moment” to buy the winning ticket. The winner allowed a fellow customer to make a Mega Millions lottery ticket purchase in front of the winner while in line at the store, the commission said.
“A simple act of kindness led to an amazing outcome,” the statement said.
South Carolina is one of a handful of states where winners can remain anonymous — a choice that winners often make to protect themselves from being targeted by criminals or unscrupulous people seeking money.
The winning ticket was sold between Oct. 20 and Oct. 23 of last year at the KC Mart convenience store in Simpsonville, a suburb of the South Carolina city of Greenville.