$1.5 billion ticket sold in Simpsonville, South Carolina

1 year 2 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, October 24 2018 Oct 24, 2018 Wednesday, October 24, 2018 10:28:00 AM CDT October 24, 2018 in Top Stories
By: The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lottery officials are preparing a convenience store in rural Simpsonville, South Carolina for an onslaught of attention after revealing that the winning Mega Millions ticket worth more than $1.5 billion was sold there.

State lottery officials plan a news conference at the town's KC Mart on Wednesday to celebrate the lucky sale.

The share of the winnings that goes to retailers in South Carolina is capped at $50,000.

The state doesn't require lottery winners to identify themselves. For now, lottery officials are publicly urging the winner to sign the back of the ticket, put it in a safe location, seek financial or legal advice from a trusted source. They're also urging the winner to call the Lottery. Winners have up to 180 days to come forward to claim their money.

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8:25 a.m.

South Carolina's lottery director says they hope to reveal the identify of the store that sold the winning ticket by mid-day Wednesday.

In an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America," South Carolina Education Lottery Director William Hogan Brown says the store could be identified around the noon hour. That should give them time to get security in place, since attention should be red-hot.

Asked whether the name of the winner would ever come to light, Brown said "Perhaps not." South Carolina law allows winners to remain anonymous.

Mega Millions officials say a ticket purchased in South Carolina matches all six numbers in Tuesday night's drawing. That flimsy piece of paper is now worth $1.537 billion, just shy of a world-record.

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7:30 a.m.

Lottery officials say the final numbers are in and the winning Mega Millions lottery ticket is just shy of the all-time world record.

The earlier estimate of $1.6 billion would have been a world record for lotteries, but actual sales came in just short of the estimate for a total of $1.537 billion, if paid out over 30 years. That's worth about $877.8 million in a lump-sum cash payment.

Maryland Lottery spokeswoman Carol Gentry explained the difference in a phone interview with The Associated Press.

She says estimated payouts are based on historical patterns, and 'there are few precedents for a jackpot of this size." She says typically about 70 percent of sales occur on the day of the drawing, "so forecasting precise numbers in advance can be difficult" and that's why they always use the term "estimate."

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4:00 a.m.

Lottery officials say someone has won the record $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot.

Mega Millions officials say a ticket purchased in South Carolina matches all six numbers in Tuesday night's drawing. The massive jackpot is the world's largest ever lottery grand prize.

The winning numbers were 5, 28, 62, 65, 70 and Mega Ball 5. No details on where the winning ticket was sold were immediately available.

The jackpot has been growing since July, when a group of California office workers won $543 million.

The lucky player overcame miserable odds. The chance of matching all six numbers and winning the top prize is 1 in 302.5 million.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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