Search for mystery victor of $2.25 billion lottery jackpot

Alicia Cross
October 25, 2018

Four tickets with Megaplier matched four of the first five numbers but not the Megaball to win $1,500 each.

Meanwhile, South Carolina Education Lottery Chief Operating Officer Tony Cooper had some advice for the victor, who has 180 days to claim his or her prize: "Sign the back of that (ticket)".

The magic numbers drawn Tuesday night were 5, 28, 62, 65, 70, and the Mega Ball was 5.

Until now the United States record jackpot was $1.586bn for a different lottery, called Powerball, in 2016.

Still, the jaw-dropping $1.537 billion jackpot failed to break the record for lottery winnings, held by the $1.586 billion Powerball prize shared by winners in January 2016.

Before this week's Mega Millions, the USA lottery jackpot record was $1.586 billion, split among three winning Powerball tickets in January 2016. Wednesday's will be the third-largest Powerball jackpot.

Leading up to Tuesday's drawing, the buzz surrounding the Mega Millions and Powerball drawings was high.

The winners will have a choice between an estimated annuity value of $1.537 billion, paid in one immediate payment followed by 29 annual graduated payments, or the cash option of an estimated $877.8 million.

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Santo, who was joined by her husband Manuel at Lottery headquarters to claim her prize, was especially grateful after a recent unfortunate travel experience. Mega Millions is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the US Virgin Islands. With more than $1.5 billion, an exceedingly generous victor could shower roughly $307 on each of the state's five million people.

"I said, 'How does it feel to be a millionaire?'" he told Virginia Lottery officials.

The victor has 180 days to claim the prize, Armstrong said.

But when the jackpot was finalised, it was downgraded to US$1.537 billion.

McGowan notes that media outlets also like to run stories about "biggest-ever" prizes.

"Our board has a policy to protect the victor because of all the risk associated with having that much money", South Carolina Education Lottery Director William Hogan Brown told ABC's "Good Morning America".

"Hopefully it's a local guy to spend it in the community", Patel said.

Micah Valentine fills out a Mega Millions ticket at KC Mart No. 7 in Simpsonville. Now I know y'all have it!' Chase Hatcher said, trading smiles across the counter with Jee and Twinkle Patel.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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