October 24, 2018
A lottery ticket holder in South Carolina has scooped the largest jackpot in US history.
Mega Millions confirmed there was one winner for the whopping $1.6bn (£1.2bn) prize.
The jackpot numbers were: 28, 70, 5, 62, 65, with a Mega Ball of 5. The odds of choosing those numbers were said to be one in more than 300 million.
People had been lining up at service stations and stores nationwide for a chance to win the huge prize.
Tickets for the Mega Millions draw are sold in 44 US states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands and there had not been a top prize winner since July.
“The moment we’ve been waiting for finally arrived, and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Gordon Medenica, lead director of Mega Millions Group.
“This is truly a historic occasion. We’re so happy for the winner, and we know the South Carolina Education Lottery can’t wait to meet the lucky ticket holder.”
The winner can decide to take a cash payout of $913m after tax, or opt to have it paid out in instalments over 29 years.
The huge jackpot had lottery ticket buyers speculating on what they would do with the money if they won. Some dreamt of buying an island or a fast car, others of opening shops and creating jobs.
The lottery firm said Tuesday’s draw saw 36 people win second prize, and 419 win the $10,000 third prize.
Mega Millions was created in 2002 and has seen a number of changes to the rules over the years that have reduced the odds of winning, leading to larger jackpots.