One ticket sold in South Carolina matched all six numbers in the Mega Millions lottery draw on Tuesday for a record setting $1.6 billion jackpot, the state's lottery said on its website early on Wednesday.
The ticket matched the five numbers 5, 28, 62, 65, 70 and the Mega Ball 5 that were drawn on Tuesday night. Anyone who hit all six numbers to win the jackpot can choose an immediate cash payment of $904 million or receive the $1.6 billion prize over 29 years.
It was unclear early on Wednesday if other winning tickets were sold elsewhere.
It's possible the world will never know who bought the ticket that matches all six numbers in Tuesday night's drawing.
South Carolina is one of eight states — along with Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas — where winners can remain anonymous.
"Our board has a policy to protect the winner because of all the risk associated with having that much money," South Carolina Education Lottery Director William Hogan Brown told ABC's "Good Morning America."
South Carolina's previous record-holder — someone who bought a $400 million Powerball ticket in the Columbia area in 2013 — never wanted to be identified.
Holli Armstrong, spokeswoman for the South Carolina Education Lottery, said the retailer will get a $50,000 payout. Brown said the store's identity should be revealed by mid-day on Wednesday, once state authorities have law-enforcement resources in place to help with the attention.
The biggest Mega Millions jackpot winner prior to this was a $656 million ticket sold back in 2012, Gentry said, "so it's a record for Mega Millions and it came very close to breaking the world record of all the jackpots."
The winning numbers were 5, 28, 62, 65, 70 and Mega Ball 5. The lucky player overcame miserable odds: The chance of matching all six numbers and winning the top prize is 1 in 302.5 million.
Mega Millions is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
It will likely be days or even weeks before the ticket-holder steps forward to claim the prize.
Lottery officials and financial managers encourage people to take time to map out a strategy for investing their hundreds of millions of dollars, and winners must deal with security concerns befitting someone who suddenly is immensely wealthy. Depending on the state, winners have from 180 days to a year to claim their prize.
The Mega Millions jackpot grew so large because it had been nearly three months since a player had matched all six numbers and won the top prize. The last time that happened was July 24, when 11 co-workers from California won a $543 million prize.
Although Tuesday's jackpot was extraordinarily large, it's no fluke. It reflects a trend toward ever-growing lottery prizes due to changes in the game that worsened the odds with hopes that bigger jackpots would result in better sales.
Officials with the Powerball game were the first to make that move in October 2015 when changing the odds of winning the jackpot from 1 in 175 million to 1 in 292.2 million. Mega Millions followed suit in October 2017, resulting in the odds worsening from 1 in 259 million to 1 in 302.5 million.
While most attention has been on the Mega Millions game, Powerball also has been soaring. The estimated prize for Powerball's annuity option in Wednesday night's drawing is $620 million, with a cash prize of $354.3 million.
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