More than four months after making his or her fateful lottery ticket purchase, the winner of the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot has stepped forward — but will remain anonymous, the South Carolina Education Lottery Commission announced.
The winner of the largest jackpot in U.S. history has opted for up-front cash — a one-time payment of $877,784,124, the commission announced shortly before 5 p.m. Monday.
According to a statement from the commission, the winner has confided in how unlikely the win was – that the winner had let a fellow customer buy a Quick Pick Mega Millions lottery ticket ahead of him or her in line the day of the purchase at the KC Mart in Simpsonville.
“We are delighted that the winner is a South Carolinian and has come forward to claim this remarkable prize,” said Hogan Brown, the commission’s executive director. “We respect the winner’s decision to remain anonymous, and we will honor the winner’s wishes.”
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KC Mart in Simpsonville will receive $50,000 for selling the claimed winning ticket.
“It’s a lucky store for me and them too,” owner CJ Patel said. “(I tell them) to keep buying the tickets. Keep trying.”
Business at the store has also picked up since word of the winning ticket got out.
“It’s increased, definitely,” KC Mart employee Himanshi Patel said as she rang up customers purchasing their own lottery tickets Monday night.
The state of South Carolina, meanwhile, will collect $61 million in income taxes from the winner, according to the commission.
The winner has hired attorney Jason Kurland of Rivkin Radler of New York, who will provide legal representation while also acting as the winner’s spokesman, according to the commission.
Kurland has represented multiple large lottery winners, according to his firm’s website, including the Putnam Avenue Family Trust, winner of a $254.2 million Connecticut Powerball lottery; the Rainbow Sherbert Trust, winner of a $336.4 million Rhode Island Powerball jackpot; and The Ning Trust, winner of a $121.6 million Powerball jackpot in Delaware two years ago.
Kurland could not be reached for comment Monday evening.
Once the South Carolina winner has been paid, a news conference will take place at the S.C. lottery commission’s headquarters in Columbia.
The ticket’s initial purchase took place Oct. 23, 2018, and the winner had 180 days to step forward.
He – or she – waited for 132 days, prompting intense speculation on social media about what the winner might be up to over the past four months. Was the ticket lost? Did the winner not know he or she had bought the winning ticket? Had a minor purchased it?
According to a recent report, had the winner deposited the $878 million lump sum into a 2-percent interest savings account on day one, they would have collected $5.8 million in interest alone by now.
Follow Anna B. Mitchell on Twitter: @AnnaBard2U
This article originally appeared on The Greenville News: Winner of $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot has finally come forward in South Carolina