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One winning ticket sold in South Carolina for record US$1.6 billion lottery jackpot, organisers say

  • The buyer of the ticket beat odds of one in 303 million to win the Mega Millions draw
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2018, 5:36pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2018, 10:20pm

One ticket sold in South Carolina matched all six numbers in the Mega Millions lottery draw on Tuesday for a record setting US$1.6 billion jackpot, the state’s lottery said on its website early on Wednesday.

The ticket matched the five numbers 5, 28, 62, 65, 70 and the Mega Ball 5 that were drawn on Tuesday night. Anyone who hit all six numbers to win the jackpot can choose an immediate cash payment of US$904 million or receive the US$1.6 billion prize over 29 years.

It was unclear early on Wednesday whether other winning tickets were sold elsewhere.

The website of the South Carolina Education Lottery showed that one winning ticket was sold in the state. The buyer of the ticket beat odds of one in 303 million to win the Mega Millions draw.

It may be days or even weeks before a winner steps forward to claim the prize.

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Lottery officials and financial managers encourage people to take time to map out a strategy for investing their prize and winners must deal with security concerns befitting someone who is suddenly immensely wealthy. Depending on the state, winners have from 180 days to a year to claim the money.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states, as well as Washington DC and the US Virgin Islands.

In eight states – Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas – winners can remain anonymous, but in the others their identities will be public.

Mega Millions set a record for lottery jackpots after nobody won the US$1 billion prize on Friday. The previous record was a US$1.586 billion jackpot for a Powerball drawing in 2016.

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Although Tuesday’s jackpot was extraordinarily large, it’s no fluke. It reflects a trend toward ever-growing lottery prizes due to changes in the game that worsened the odds with hopes that bigger jackpots would result in better sales.

Powerball was the first to make that move in October 2015 when it changed the odds of winning the jackpot from one in 175 million to one in 292 million. Mega Millions followed suit in October 2017, resulting in the odds worsening from one in 259 million to one in 303 million.

Additional reporting by Associated Press