COLUMBIA, SC — A Mega Millions lottery ticket sold somewhere in South Carolina matched all five numbers and the Mega Ball, entitling whoever purchased it to the record jackpot estimated at $1.6 billion, lottery officials said. The winning numbers: 5, 28, 62, 65, 70, and the Mega Ball was 5.
The name and hometown of the winner aren’t immediately known, and it could stay that way, USA Today reported. South Carolina is among several states where winners can remain anonymous.
“The moment we’ve been waiting for finally arrived, and we couldn’t be more excited,” Gordon Medenica, director of the Mega Millions Group and head of Maryland Lottery and Gaming, said in a statement Wednesday morning. “This is truly a historic occasion.”
In addition to the jackpot winner, the sales frenzy produced a whopping 36 second prize $1 million tickets – each matching the five white balls drawn Tuesday night. Eight were in California, four each in Florida and New York, two each in Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey and Virginia, and one each in Arizona, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.
If you were one of the approximately 7.6 billion people who didn’t win the Mega Millions jackpot, don’t fret — you still have enormously slim odds at winning Wednesday night’s $620 million Powerball jackpot. Alternatively, you can buy tickets for Friday’s Mega Millions drawing, which will be reset at a cool $40 million.
Mega Millions tickets are sold in 44 states across the country.
Tuesday’s jackpot was the highest in U.S. lottery history, with an estimated cash payout of $904.9 million. The odds of winning —302 million-to-1 odds — are worse than those of getting hit by lightning or being crushed by a meteor.
But that didn’t stop Tuesday night’s drawing from generating a frenzy nationwide as people dreamed of becoming a billionaire overnight. A general store in Whitman, Massachusetts — which has sold three $1 million tickets in the past — raked in $1,500 in lottery sales in just an hour. Most people shelled out about $20, though some played up to $300 worth. Some of them traveled 40 minutes to buy their tickets.
Photo credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
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