The mystery is over. Partly.
Lottery officials on Monday announced that a resident of South Carolina had stepped up to claim the $ 1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot from October last year – the biggest jackpot payout to a single winner in American history – but opted to remain anonymous .
A lottery commission statement said the person who sent the claim for what was the second largest lottery in US history has chosen the cash option, a one-time payment of nearly $ 878,000,000.
The largest jackpot in US history – a $ 1,585 billion Powerball prize won January 13, 2016 – was split between buyers in three states. That jackpot also had some mystery when the California winners did not arrive about six months later.
"We are pleased that the winner is a South Carolinian, and has come forward to claim this remarkable award," said CEO Hogan Brown. "We respect the winner's decision to remain anonymous and we will respect the winners' wishes."
The commission said that the winner "tells how every decision that was made that day brought the winner to the store, at the same moment" to buy the winning ticket. The winner allowed a media customer to make a Mega Millions lottery ticket purchase in front of the winner while queuing at the store, the commission said.
"A simple act of goodness led to a fantastic outcome, says the statement.
South Carolina is one of a handful of states where winners can remain anonymous ̵[ads1]1; a choice that winners often make to protect themselves from being targeted by Criminals or unscrupulous people seeking money
The winning ticket was sold between October 20 and October 23 last year at KC Mart's convenience store in Simpsonville, a suburb of South Carolina City of Greenville.
"It's exciting. Good for me, good for him, her, who it is, "said Chirag Patel, the owner of the convenience store. That's because Patel gets a $ 50,000 payment to sell the winning ticket – something he wouldn't have received if the prize went unannounced.
Patel said he would use the money to pay for renovations to the Simpsonville store, as well as some of the other six convenience stores he owns, when asked why he thinks the winner took so long to arrive, Patel said: "There is a lot of money to do."
For months, South Carolina residents had wondered why the winner hadn't gone ahead.
Some theorized that the winner was fleeing the police and feared a background, check if he or she Someone thought the winner was so overwhelmed by seeing the winning numbers appear that he or she died on the spot, others speculated that the winning ticket had been purchased by an office pool and was now the subject of litigation.
The winner had ten l April 19th to claim the prize. If it had gone up, the money would have returned to the 44 countries where the tickets were purchased.
Monday's message gave no idea why the winner took his time to arrive.
The price claimed comes with other benefits for the state, in addition to knowing that a new multi-millionaire is going around somewhere.
The Lottery Commission said the state will receive $ 61 million in income tax from the winner. And it can move on to taxpayers if a proposal goes through to give a $ 50 discount to each person who writes income tax.
"I'm happy that the money stays in South Carolina. Of course, South Carolina will reap the benefits of it," said house manners and funds chairman Murrell Smith, R-Sumter, to the post and courier.
He added, "What we hope is that all taxpayers in this state, with the taxpayer discount, will also benefit."