Winner Of Largest Ever Mega Millions Prize Comes Forward, Ending Months Of Speculation

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The winner of the $1.5 billion lottery drawing — the largest ever for a single winner — came forward in South Carolina nearly five months after the drawing, officials said Monday.

The lucky person chose to remain anonymous and take a one-time Mega Millions payment of $877,784,124, according to a statement from the South Carolina Education Lottery Commission.

South Carolina is one of just a few states — along with Delaware, Kansas, Georgia, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas — that allows lottery winners to remain anonymous.

A bill recently introduced in the New Jersey Legislature will also allow lottery winners to remain anonymous. 

The $877 million payout is before taxes, which will be about 7 percent for the state and 24 percent for federal, according to a commission spokeswoman.

The winner had up to 180 days to claim the prize. It had been 132 days since the winning ticket was sold.

If the winner had not come forward, the state of south Carolina would have lost $61 million in taxes – money that had already been included in this year’s budget.

The winner bought the Quick Pick ticket on a spur-of-the-moment decision, according to lottery officials.

The person even allowed a fellow customer to get in front of the line at the store to make a Mega Millions lottery ticket purchase, according to a commission statement. “A simple act of kindness led to an amazing outcome.”

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