A single winning ticket has been identified in the record-setting US$1.6 billion Mega Millions lottery jackpot, lottery officials said Wednesday.
A single ticket holder in South Carolina will claim that bounty, Mega Millions said on its website.
The six winning numbers drawn on Tuesday night were 5, 28, 62, 65, 70 and 5 again as the special Mega Ball.
The record jackpot had set off a lottery frenzy across America, with people lining up at convenience stores, supermarkets and liquor stores to buy a two dollar ticket that gave them a roughly one in 300 million chance of winning.
The winner can take US$913 million in a lump sum cash payment or the whole pile in annuities over 29 years.
The jackpot got so big because no one had won since July, when a group of office workers in California shared US$543 million.
Until now the US record jackpot was US$1.586 billion for a different lottery, called Powerball, in 2016.
It was split three ways by ticket holders in California, Florida and Tennessee. Each took home US$528.8 million. — AFP
The buyer of the ticket beat the odds of 1 in 303 million to win the Mega Millions drawing for one of the largest jackpots in U.S. history.
Still, the jaw-dropping US$1.537 billion jackpot failed to break the record for lottery winnings, held by the US$1.586 billion Powerball prize shared by winners in January 2016.
Before the drawing, lottery officials had been reporting an expected record-breaking US$1.6 billion jackpot, based on estimates tied to historical patterns, lottery spokeswoman Carole Bober Gentry said on Wednesday. After the drawing, lottery officials rolled back the jackpot total to US$1.537 billion, based on actual ticket sales.
“There are few precedents for a jackpot this size. Typically, about 70 percent of sales occur on the drawing day, so forecasting precise numbers in advance can be difficult,” Gentry said in a statement.
For the winner, options include an immediate cash payment of US$877.8 million, or the US$1.537 billion prize paid out over 29 years.