The mystery over the owner of the $1.5 Billion Mega Jackpot is likely to be over now. On Monday, Lottery officials declared that a South Carolina resident had stepped forward to claim the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot from last October. It is the largest jackpot payout to a single winner in the history of the U.S.
As per a statement of a lottery commission, the person submitting the claim for what was the second-largest lottery in U.S. history has chosen the cash option, and he wishes to get it as a one-time payment of nearly $878,000,000.
It should be noted that the largest jackpot in the history of the United States is $1.585 billion Powerball prize which was won on Jan. 13, 2016. And it was split between buyers in three states. That jackpot also had some mystery attached to it as the California winners didn’t come forward initially.
“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 told 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. As per the commission, the winner let a fellow customer make a Mega Millions lottery ticket purchase in front of the winner being in line at the store.
“A simple act of kindness led to an amazing outcome,” the statement said.
It should be noted that South Carolina is one of the few states where winners can stay anonymous. It has been the choice of the winners often made to protect themselves from being targeted by criminals or unscrupulous people seeking money.
The whopping $1.5 billion winning tickets were sold between Oct. 20 and Oct. 23 of last year at the KC Mart convenience store in Simpsonville.
“It’s exciting. Good for me, good for him, her, whoever it is,” said Chirag Patel, owner of the convenience store. He will also get a $50,000 payment for selling the winning ticket — something he wouldn’t have gotten if the prize went unclaimed.
As per Patel, he would use the money to pay for renovations to the store in Simpsonville as well as some of the six other convenience stores he owns. He also said that due to the size of the money the winner might have taken the time to come forward. It has been months since residents are speculating of the delay.
As per some, the winner was on the run from police and feared a background check if he or she won. Some even theorized that the winner was so overwhelmed at seeing the winning numbers pop up that he or she died on the spot. Others also have speculated that the winning ticket had been purchased by an office pool and might be now the subject of litigation.
As per the norms, the winner had until April 19 to claim the prize. Had it gone unclaimed, the money would have returned to the respective origin states.
As per the commission, the state will get $61 million in income taxes from the winner. And this could pass to taxpayers if a proposal goes through to give a $50 rebate to each person who files income taxes.
“I’m glad the money stays in South Carolina. Obviously, South Carolina will reap the benefits of that,” House Ways and Means Chairman Murrell Smith, R-Sumter said.
He added: “What we’re hoping is that, through the taxpayer rebate, all taxpayers in this state will also benefit as a result.”