Newest US Lottery Billionaire Hails From South Carolina

Newest US Lottery Billionaire Hails From South Carolina

One lucky lottery ticket from South Carolina has scooped a record Mega Millions jackpot in the US.

The jackpot had been rolling since July 24 when a California office pool of 11 co-workers shared a $543million prize, and by Tuesday evening's draw on Octover 23 it stood at $1.537bn.

Queues snaked out of every service station and store nationwide, millions hoping to claim a share of the biggest Mega Millions jackpot since it began as The Big Game in September, 1996. The odds of anyone winning the main prize estimated at a staggering 302 million/1.

Mega Millions Draw

People from the 46 localities that play Mega Millions - 44 states, the District of Columbia, and US Virgin Islands - sat tight on Tuesday night, as the balls bounced into the draw drum at WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia.

The now famed jackpot numbers that rolled out minutes later were: 28, 70, 5, 62, 65, with a Mega Ball of 5, officials reporting that one ticket from South Carolina had scooped the record jackpot - smashing the lotteries last high-roll of $656 million, set in March 2012.

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

"This is truly a historic occasion. We're so happy for the winner, and we know the South Carolina Education Lottery can't wait to meet the lucky ticket holder."

The winner, who has 180 days to claim their win, can decide to take a cash payout of $913m after tax, or opt to have it paid out in instalments over 29 years - not bad for a $2 ticket!

In South Carolina, the winner can also choose to remain anonymous - it's one of eight states with that possibility - along with Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, and Texas.

36 Win $1million Each

South Carolina's jackpot fell just short of the all-time US lottery record, set in January 2016 when three winning Powerball tickets from California, Florida and Tennessee split a $1.586 billion prize. But it still smashed the Mega Millions record and also saw 36 winning second tier prizes.

California was the big winner with eight from the Orange County set to collect at least $1million, while Florida and New York each have four lucky lottery players, and a further 419 people has won the $10,000 third prize.

2nd Tier Mega Millions Winners by State

New York4Massachusetts2
Michigan2North Carolina2
New Jersey2Virginia2
Missouri1New Mexico1

***The Texas winner, and one of the Florida Match 5 winners included the optional Megaplier, multiplier, so those two tickets are worth $3million.

I Want to Play the Mega Millions!

Good news: you can. The next draw will take place on Friday evening at 11pm ET with an estimated jackpot of $40million, and players not stateside can get involved.

Many online lottery sites, like Multilotto,, and Lottoland now offer the chance for overseas bettors to buy Mega Millions lottery tickets from outside of the US, and there's another option too.

Lottery betting bookmakers like Ladbrokes, William Hill, or Coral, let punters bet on the outcome of numbers. There's more information on this intriguing phenomenon our Lottery Betting page.

Top five US jackpot wins

  • $1.58bn: A Powerball win in 2016. The prize was split three ways by ticket holders from California, Florida and Tennessee

  • $1.537bn: A Mega Millions top prize won in 2018 by one ticket in South Carolina.

  • $758.7m: The Powerball in 2017, won by mother-of-two Mavis Wanczyk from Massachusetts. She said she had picked the numbers based on relatives' birthdays

  • $656m: A Mega Millions top prize win in 2012, shared between three winners who purchased tickets in Maryland, Kansas and Illinois

  • $648m: Another Mega Millions win, this time in 2013 by two ticket holders; a woman in Georgia and a man in California