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$1.5B Mega Millions Jackpot Winner May Never Be Revealed

Winning ticket was sold in South Carolina
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2018 4:32 AM CDT
Updated Oct 24, 2018 6:41 AM CDT
People wait in line to purchase lottery tickets for the Meg Millions lottery at Lichines Liqour & Deli, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
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(Newser) – We have a winner: Officials say a single winning ticket for what was touted as the biggest lottery prize in history was drawn Tuesday night, CNN reports. Lottery officials say a ticket with the winning numbers 28, 70, 5, 62, 65, with a Mega Ball of 5 was sold in South Carolina, with the head of the Mega Millions group calling it "truly a historic occasion." Or, historic-ish. The AP reports that it turns out this jackpot isn't the all-time record, with a 2016 Powerball drawing retaining that honor. Ticket sales came in below estimates, so instead of $1.6 billion, the total is really $1.537 billion if paid out over 30 years. The lump-sum amount is $877.8 million.

A rep for the Maryland Lottery explained that because about 70% of sales happen on the day of the drawing, "forecasting precise numbers in advance can be difficult." As for who won the prize, USA Today reports that we may never know. South Carolina is one of eight states where winners have the option of remaining anonymous. There were 36 tickets sold that matched five of the numbers. The jackpot, which had been rising since July, would have hit an estimated $2 billion by Friday if there had been no winner Tuesday. (A jackpot winner earlier this year was just 20 years old.)

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