What We Know About the $1.5 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot Winner

In October 2018, a record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot was won by a single ticket. The jackpot was worth $1.53 billion; the winner overcame odds of 1 in 302 million to secure it. But they didn’t come forward for five months and when they finally did, they chose to remain anonymous. Here’s what we know about the winner of one of the largest lottery jackpots in history.

Winning Ticket In South Carolina

Over 15 million people won a prize in the Mega Millions draw for Tuesday, October 23rd 2018, but only one of them matched all six numbers drawn. The jackpot-winning ticket was revealed to have been bought in South Carolina, as Mega Millions officials began the hunt for the winner.

Such was the concern that the winner would miss the deadline for claiming the winnings, the South Carolina government deducted $61 million from their spending budget – the amount they would be receiving in tax from the winnings.

But the winner came forward in March of this year. While choosing to remain anonymous, they revealed themselves to be a South Carolina woman who bought the ticket on a whim.

“She Decided To Take A Chance”

The winner chose to be represented in public by her lawyer, Jason Kurland of Rivkin Radler. He released a statement telling the story of the South Carolina woman’s incredible luck: she was traveling down highway 417, before seeing a sign advertising the Mega Millions lottery. “She decided to take a chance and purchase a ticket, never once thinking she had the slightest chance to win.”

He reported that she knew she had won as soon as the next morning, but elected to wait until she had found a lawyer before collecting her winnings. Once she retained Kurland, he advised her not to claim the jackpot until 2019, as the winnings could then accrue interest before being eligible for taxation in 2020.

The winner had a choice between an $877 million lump sum, and an annuity totaling the advertised $1.5 billion. She was advised to choose the lump sum, to “invest in [her]self” rather than have the lottery pay instalments.

Jackpot Winner And Philanthropist

The winner made an initial statement through the lottery, regarding her plans for the Mega Millions jackpot: “I do realize that such good fortune carries a tremendous social responsibility, and it gives me a unique opportunity to assist, support, and contribute to charities and causes that are close to my heart.”

One of the beneficiaries of her charitable activity has recently been revealed to be a fund for victims of the Alabama tornados. The Red Cross relief fund is set to receive what has been called a “substantial amount” by Justin Kurland, setting a precedent for the kind of philanthropy we can expect from the new multi-millionaire.

Another Record-Breaking Jackpot?

The next Mega Millions draw will occur on Friday April 5th, with an estimated jackpot of $104 million. It will be some time before Mega Millions reaches a jackpot total as large as last October’s; the jackpot rolled over 24 times before reaching $1.5 billion. Providing no one picks the winning numbers, it could take roughly three months for the jackpot to climb to similar heights.

You can join in on Mega Millions by buying tickets at any licensed retailer; alternatively, you can trust you’ll never lose a ticket or miss a jackpot by picking your numbers online. Either way, with overall odds of 1 in 24, what are you waiting for?

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Article Last Modified: Tuesday, 2 June 2020 15:14:58+01:00
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