Lottery officials have announced a resident from the U.S. state of SC has stepped forward to claim the prize, won in an October draw, and has chosen the cash option - a one-time payment of almost $1.2 billion.
SC law allows lottery winners to remain anonymous but those provisions are different in most other states.
"A simple act of kindness led to an wonderful outcome", at the commission said in a statement announcing that a victor had come forward.
The newly minted billionaire has chosen to remain anonymous - meaning we'll likely never know their identity.
The victor had until April 17 to claim the prize.
The S.C. Lottery said the victor "retained Jason Kurland of Rivkin Radler of NY to provide legal representation and to act as spokesperson", in the news release. The winning numbers were drawn on October 23, 2018.
A person in the USA has won US$1.5 billion, claiming their Mega Millions prize almost 5 months later.
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It was quite possibly the biggest lottery mystery in SC history.
But in a fortuitous gesture recounted by lottery officials, the lucky contestant had allowed a fellow customer at the KC Mart to jump ahead in line to buy a ticket just before the winning ticket was sold.
Media outside the KC Mart in Simpsonville, after it was announced the winning Mega Millions lottery ticket was purchased at the store.
"It's exciting. Good for me, good for him, her, whoever it is", said Chirag Patel, owner of the convenience store. Some thought the victor was so overwhelmed at seeing the winning numbers pop up that he or she died on the spot. The statement Monday gave no clue as to why the victor took his or her time to come forward.
The commission said the victor marvelled at every decision they made that got them to the right place at the right time to buy the ticket. And that could get passed along to taxpayers if a proposal goes through to give a $50 rebate to each person who files income taxes.
"Finally somebody claimed the ticket". "What we're hoping is that, through the taxpayer rebate, all taxpayers in this state will also benefit as a result".