Single winner bags $2.1b in US lottery jackpot

VIDEO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • A single winning ticket has been identified in a massive US$1.5 billion (S$2.1 billion) Mega Millions United States lottery jackpot, the second largest on record, organisers have said.

A single ticket holder in South Carolina will claim that bounty, Mega Millions said on its website yesterday. The winner has not been identified.

Mega Millions, which initially announced a global record US$1.6 billion jackpot, later revised the figure down to US$1.537 billion.

The new amount makes the prize the second largest, just shy of the US$1.586 billion jackpot for a rival Powerball lottery in January 2016, which was shared between three winning tickets.

Regardless, it is the largest single winning ticket and it dwarfed the previous Mega Millions record, set in March 2012 at US$656 million.

The six winning numbers drawn on Tuesday night were 5, 28, 62, 65, 70 and 5 again as the special Mega Ball.

The record jackpot had set off a lottery frenzy across the US, with people lining up at convenience stores, supermarkets and liquor stores to buy a US$2 ticket that gave them a roughly one in 300 million chance of winning.

 

"The moment we've been waiting for finally arrived, and we couldn't be more excited," said Mr Gordon Medenica, lead director of the Mega Millions Group and director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming.

The winner can take US$878 million in a lump sum cash payment or be paid out in annuities over 30 years.

In this latest draw, there were 36 second prizes worth US$1 million each - people who got the first five numbers right but not the Mega Ball.

Reaction on Twitter came quickly, at least from those who did not win.

"I didn't win the lottery, but I'm still planning on dying alone," TV host and comedian Conan O'Brien said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2018, with the headline 'Single winner bags $2.1b in US lottery jackpot'. Print Edition | Subscribe