The winner of the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot claimed his or her prize Monday, opting to remain anonymous and take a cash payment of almost $878 million, according to South Carolina Education Lottery officials.
South Carolina’s newest millionaire sent a lawyer to field questions and collect the winnings, The State reports. But lotto officials did share the winner’s story of buying the lucky ticket.
“A simple act of kindness led to an amazing outcome,” lotto officials said in a press news release. The winner allowed someone else to cut in front of him or her in line at the story store to buy the same kind of ticket before the winner bought their own.
“The winner marvels at how every decision made that day brought the winner to the store, at that very moment, to make the Quick Pick Mega Millions lottery ticket purchase,” lotto officials said.
The winning ticket was sold at a convenience store in Simpsonville, South Carolina, on October 23, according to The State. The winner had 180 days to collect the prize.
The winner “has chosen the cash option of a one-time payment of $877,784,124,” lotto officials said. “This is the largest jackpot payout to a single winner in United States history.”
“We are delighted that the winner is a South Carolinian and has come forward to claim this remarkable prize,” SC lotto commission executive director Hogan Brown said in a press release.
“We offer sincere congratulations and are very happy that one of our South Carolina retailers, KC Mart in Simpsonville, will receive $50,000 for selling the claimed winning ticket,” Brown said. “The State of South Carolina will benefit from $61 million that will be collected in income taxes from the winner. We respect the winner’s decision to remain anonymous, and we will honor the winner’s wishes.”