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The $1.5B Mega Millions jackpot victor finally steps forward

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Winner of $1.5 billion Mega Millions Jackpot claims prize

That jackpot also had some mystery as the California winners didn't come forward until about six months later.

When the victor never showed, some thought the ticket may have been lost.

The winning ticket was sold between October 20 and 30 of 2018 at a convenience store in Simpsonville located in SC, and has gone unclaimed for months. "We respect the winner's decision to remain anonymous, and we will honor the winner's wishes". The victor even allowed a fellow customer to make a Mega Millions lottery ticket purchase in front of the victor while in line at the store.

The winning ticket was announced in October but has remained unclaimed until now.

It was quite possibly the biggest lottery mystery in SC history.

SC law allows lottery winners to elect not to be publicly identified.

The South Carolina Lottery announced Monday (Tuesday NZ time) that the victor, who elected to remain anonymous, will be given a one-time payment of US$878m (NZ$1.28b) - the largest jackpot payout to a single victor ever, the lottery organisation said.

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"It's already spent", said Patel, adding that he has spent the windfall on bills.

The long delay for the victor to step forward for the SC prize had stoked months of speculation: had the ticker purchaser died? Some thought the victor was so overwhelmed at seeing the winning numbers pop up that he or she died on the spot.

"A simple act of kindness led to an incredible outcome", at the commission said in a statement announcing that a victor had come forward.

The unidentified person who defied the 1 in 302 million odds said they will remain anonymous.

In the four days leading up to the drawing, about 370 million of the US$2 Mega Millions tickets were sold in 44 US states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands. "We couldn't be happier for them and are thrilled they took the time to assemble the right team before coming in to claim".

The prize being claimed does come with other benefits for the state besides the cachet of knowing a new multimillionaire is walking around somewhere. Taxpayers in the state may get a US$50 (NZ$73) rebate as a result of the win, the newspaper said.

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