What we know about the $1.5B lottery jackpot winner


    Mega Millions (Credit: MGN)

    Since October, many of us wondered about the person who was holding the winning ticket of a record-setting Mega Millions lottery jackpot.

    Was the ticket lost? Did the person die? What's taking so long for the winner to come forward? What we did know was the single winning ticket was sold at a convenience store in Simpsonville, South Carolina.

    After months of anticipation, the winner finally came forward last week to claim *her* prize.

    Now, the winner's attorney is bestowing upon us some new information about the lucky anonymous South Carolinian.

    Last October, the record breaking Mega Millions jackpot captivated the nation. Millions of people held their breath as the winning numbers were revealed. In South Carolina, the ultimate dream was realized. This South Carolinian was in town visiting Greenville, and decided to go on a scenic drive during some down time. As fate would have it, her drive took her past the KC Mart, where the signs showing the incredibly large jackpot caught her eye. She decided to take a chance and purchase a ticket, never once thinking she had the slightest chance to win. After checking her ticket the morning after the drawing, she was in complete shock and disbelief. She stared motionless at the ticket for what felt like hours, then came the jumping and screams of joy.

    Then, she started researching experienced professionals to help her manage her newfound wealth and preserve her anonymity.

    “I hired a team with experience handling large jackpot winners,” the winner said. “I want to make sure I make all of the right decisions, which is why I have taken this amount of time to collect my prize.”

    While we still don't know exactly who she is, we do know she wants to do good with her winnings.

    “Words can’t describe the feeling of such incredible luck,” the winner said. “I do realize that such good fortune carries a tremendous social responsibility, and it gives me a unique opportunity to assist, support and contribute to charities and causes that are close to my heart.”

    Her attorney says the winner wants to show her appreciation to the state of South Carolina, and to the City of Simpsonville, and she will do so by donating to the following organizations:

    • Ronald McDonald House of Charities of Columbia, SC
    • One SC Fund – for Hurricane Florence Relief
    • In The Middle, Columbia, SC
    • City of Simpsonville Art Center
    • American Red Cross Alabama Region Tornado Relief Fund

    The winner's reticence about coming forward includes concerns about social media and safety, saying she's thankful South Carolina allows lottery winners to claim their prizes anonymously.

    “The South Carolina Education Lottery staff was extremely professional and dutiful through each phase of the claim process," her attorney said. "Their handling of the extensive detail and challenges associated with the anonymity of the winner was exceptional and I am grateful for their efforts.”

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