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$1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot won by 1 ticket sold in South Carolina

Oct 24, 2018, 7:44 am

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Mega Millions

The first lottery billionaire

By Todd Northrop

What was billed as the largest lottery jackpot the world has ever seen has been won Tuesday night by a single lottery ticket sold in South Carolina.

It turns out the final number was just a bit shy of the record: $1.537 billion.

The public has been electrified this week by the meteoric Mega Millions lottery jackpot, first hitting $1 billion Friday, and then rising to $1.6 billion for Tuesday night's historic drawing.

The winner of the unimaginable haul will choose between being paid $1.537 billion in 30 annually-increasing payments over 29 years or the lump-sum cash value of $877.8 million.

The winning ticket was sold at KC Mart #7 at 303 Lee Vaughn Rd. in Simpsonville, South Carolina. It is the first time a jackpot-winning Mega Millions ticket has been sold in the state.

The Mega Millions winning numbers for Tuesday, October 23, 2018, were: 5, 28, 62, 65, and 70, with Mega Ball number 5. The Megaplier was 3.

Tuesday's Mega Millions jackpot was the accumulation of 25 consecutive drawings without a grand prize winner over a two-month stretch.  The jackpot run-up started as a $40 million grand prize on Jul. 27, 2018.

"The moment we've been waiting for finally arrived, and we couldn't be more excited," said Gordon Medenica, Lead Director of the Mega Millions Group and Director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming. "We're so happy for the winner or winners, and we know the South Carolina Education Lottery can't wait to meet them."

It's hard to imagine the winner getting much sleep Tuesday night, as they try to process winning the world's largest lottery jackpot ever awarded to a single ticket.

Millions of lottery players in the USA and around the world are wondering what they are planning to do with all that loot.

What is the first thing you would do?

(Here's what we would do.)

But we may never get to know the winner of that giant jackpot, since South Carolina is one of a handful of states that allow a lottery jackpot winner to remain anonymous.

Fortunately, even if you didn't win the jackpot, the Mega Millions game still offers another 8 ways to win lower-tier prizes.

In addition to the jackpot winner, 36 lucky players matched the first 5 numbers for a $1,000,000 prize: 1 from Arizona, 8 from California, 4 from Florida, 1 from Iowa, 1 from Kentucky, 2 from Massachusetts, 2 from Michigan, 1 from Missouri, 2 from New Jersey, 1 from New Mexico, 4 from New York, 2 from North Carolina, 1 from Ohio, 1 from Pennsylvania, 1 from Texas, 2 from Virginia, 1 from Washington, D.C., and 1 from Wisconsin.

Two of the second-prize winners — one of the tickets sold in Florida and the ticket sold in Texas — were purchased with the Megaplier option for an extra $1.  Because they purchased the Megaplier, those tickets are now worth $3 million after being multiplier by the Megaplier number of 3.

The California second-prize winners will each receive $562,472 this drawing, because by law California awards all prizes on a pari-mutuel basis, meaning the prizes will change each drawing based on the number of tickets sold and the number of tickets that won at each prize level.

419 tickets matched four white numbers plus the Mega Ball and won $10,000. Of those tickets, 51 were purchased with the Megaplier option, increasing the prize to $30,000, and 70 were sold in California, where the prize was $8,906 this drawing.

In total, more than 15.7 million tickets won prizes across the game's nine prize tiers in Tuesday's drawing. There were approximately 370 million tickets sold across the game's 46 states and jurisdictions during the four-day period leading up to the drawing (Oct. 20 through Oct. 23), with sales reaching nearly $740 million for that span.

The still record-holder for the world's largest lottery jackpot was a $1.5864 billion Powerball jackpot in Jan. 2016, split three-ways by ticket-holders in California, Florida, and Tennessee.

The odds to win the Mega Millions jackpot were 1 in 302.6 million.

Maryland Lottery and Gaming spokeswoman Carole Gentry today said it is estimated that more than 75 percent of all the possible number combinations would have been bought for the drawing.

Had no one matched all of the numbers drawn lottery officials said the next jackpot would have reached $2 billion.

With the jackpot being won Tuesday, the next Mega Millions annuity jackpot estimate is reset to its starting point of $40 million.

Mega Millions is currently offered for sale in 44 states, plus Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Drawings are Tuesdays and Fridays at 11:00 pm Eastern Time. Tickets cost $2 each.

The Mega Millions winning numbers are published at USA Mega (www.usamega.com) minutes after the drawing takes place.

Top 25 United States lottery jackpots of all time

Tuesday's $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot stands as the second-largest lottery jackpot of all time in the United States — and the world.

  1. Powerball: $1.5864 billion, Jan. 13, 2016 - California, Florida, Tennessee
  2. Mega Millions: $1.537 billion, Oct. 23, 2018 - South Carolina
  3. Powerball: $758.7 million, Aug. 23, 2017 - Massachusetts
  4. Mega Millions: $656 million, Mar. 30, 2012 - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  5. Mega Millions: $636 million, Dec. 17, 2013 - California, Georgia
  6. Powerball: $620 million, Oct. 24, 2007 - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  7. Powerball: $590.5 million, May 18, 2013 - Florida
  8. Powerball: $587.5 million, Nov. 28, 2012 - Arizona, Missouri
  9. Powerball: $564.1 million, Feb. 11, 2015 - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  10. Powerball: $559.7 million, Jan. 6, 2018 - New Hampshire
  11. Mega Millions: $543 million, Jul. 24, 2018 - California
  12. Mega Millions: $536 million, Jul. 8, 2016 - Indiana
  13. Mega Millions: $533 million, Mar. 30, 2018 - New Jersey
  14. Powerball: $487 million, Jul. 30, 2016 - New Hampshire
  15. Powerball: $456.7 million, Mar. 17, 2018 - Pennsylvania
  16. Mega Millions: $451 million, Jan. 5, 2018 - Florida
  17. Powerball: $448.4 million, Aug. 7, 2013 - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  18. Powerball: $447.8 million, Jun. 10, 2017 - California
  19. Powerball: $435.3 million, Feb. 22, 2017 - Indiana
  20. Powerball: $429.6 million, May 7, 2016 - New Jersey
  21. Powerball: $425.3 million, Feb. 19, 2014 - California
  22. Powerball: $420.9 million, Nov. 26, 2016 - Tennessee
  23. Mega Millions: $414 million, Mar. 18, 2014 - Florida, Maryland
  24. Powerball: $399.4 million, Sep. 18, 2013 - South Carolina
  25. Mega Millions: $393 million, Aug. 11, 2017 - Illinois

For those keeping score, the number of jackpots in the top 25, by lottery game, are:

  • Powerball: 15
  • Mega Millions: 10

Top 25 cash value jackpots

The Tuesday Mega Millions jackpot ranks as the 2nd-largest cash value in world history.

  1. Powerball: $983.5 million cash, Jan. 13, 2016 ($1.5864 billion annuity) - California, Florida, Tennessee
  2. Mega Millions: $877.8 million cash, Oct. 23, 2018 ($1.537 billion annuity) - South Carolina
  3. Powerball: $480.5 million cash, Aug. 23, 2017 ($758.7 million annuity) - Massachusetts
  4. Mega Millions: $471 million cash, Mar. 30, 2012 ($656 million annuity) - Illinois, Kansas, Maryland
  5. Powerball: $384.7 million cash, Nov. 28, 2012 ($587.5 million annuity) - Arizona, Missouri
  6. Powerball: $381.1 million cash, Feb. 11, 2015 ($564.1 million annuity) - North Carolina, Puerto Rico, Texas
  7. Mega Millions: $378 million cash, Jul. 8, 2016 ($536 million annuity) - Indiana
  8. Powerball: $370.9 million cash, May 18, 2013 ($590.5 million annuity) - Florida
  9. Powerball: $354.3 million cash, Oct. 24, 2018 ($620 million annuity) - Preliminary estimate, not won yet
  10. Powerball: $352 million cash, Jan. 6, 2018 ($559.7 million annuity) - New Hampshire
  11. Mega Millions: $347.6 million cash, Dec. 17, 2013 ($636 million annuity) - California, Georgia
  12. Powerball: $336.8 million cash, Jul. 30, 2016 ($487 million annuity) - New Hampshire
  13. Mega Millions: $324 million cash, Mar. 30, 2018 ($533 million annuity) - New Jersey
  14. Mega Millions: $320.5 million cash, Jul. 24, 2018 ($543 million annuity) - California
  15. Powerball: $284 million cash, May 7, 2016 ($429.6 million annuity) - New Jersey
  16. Mega Millions: $281.9 million cash, Jan. 5, 2018 ($451 million annuity) - Florida
  17. Powerball: $279.1 million cash, Jun. 10, 2017 ($447.8 million annuity) - California
  18. Powerball: $273.9 million cash, Mar. 17, 2018 ($456.7 million annuity) - Pennsylvania
  19. Powerball: $263.5 million cash, Feb. 22, 2017 ($435.3 million annuity) - Indiana
  20. Powerball: $258.2 million cash, Aug. 7, 2013 ($448.4 million annuity) - Minnesota, New Jersey (2)
  21. Powerball: $254.7 million cash, Nov. 26, 2016 ($420.9 million annuity) - Tennessee
  22. Mega Millions: $246.5 million cash, Aug. 11, 2017 ($393 million annuity) - Illinois
  23. Mega Millions: $240 million cash, Jan. 4, 2011 ($380 million annuity) - Idaho, Washington
  24. Mega Millions: $233.1 million cash, Mar. 6, 2007 ($390 million annuity) - Georgia, New Jersey
  25. Mega Millions: $230.9 million cash, Mar. 18, 2014 ($414 million annuity) - Florida, Maryland

The number of jackpot cash values in the top 25, by lottery game, are:

  • Powerball: 14
  • Mega Millions: 11

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