Lottery officials have this advice for the holder of the winning ticket from late October’s $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot: Take a deep breath, then give us a call.
Who’s the $1.5 billion Mega Millions winner? No one has come forward to claim the prize.
The winning numbers—5, 28, 62, 65 and 70, with a Mega Ball of 5—were sold at a KC Mart gas station and convenience store in upstate South Carolina outside Simpsonville, a city of about 18,000 near Greenville.
It’s the largest US jackpot won by a single ticket, and it’s the nation’s second-largest jackpot ever, just short of a $1.586 billion Powerball prize split by three tickets in January 2016.
Now the big question is: Who won?
“Sign the back of that (ticket). Take a few days. Take that deep breath again. (Then) call the lottery,” South Carolina Education Lottery Chief Operating Officer Tony Cooper said at a Wednesday news conference outside the store where the ticket was sold.
The October 27, 2018 giant Powerball jackpot, the third-largest prize in the history of the game, was split by two tickets in Iowa and New York. It’s the largest lottery prize ever won in Iowa and one of the largest lottery prizes ever offered in the world.
The winning tickets in Iowa and New York split the Powerball jackpot of an estimated $687.8 million annuity, or $396.2 million lump-sum option.
It’s Iowa’s ninth Powerball jackpot winner in the history of the game. The ticket was sold at Casey’s in Redfield, a small farming community about 35 miles west of Des Moines.
The other jackpot winning ticket was sold at a deli on Fifth Avenue in Harlem, according to news reports.
The two jackpot-winning tickets matched all six numbers selected in last night’s Powerball drawing to split the grand prize. Last night’s winning numbers were: 8-12-13-19-27 and Powerball 4. The Power Play number was 3.
Powerball jackpot winners can choose to receive their prizes in annuitized payments over time or as a one-time, lump-sum payment. The New York and Iowa winners do not have to choose the same option, as each will receive half of last night’s jackpot. That breaks down to $343.9 million annuity, or $198.1 million lump-sum option, for each.
If the winner(s) choose the annuity option for the jackpot, it will be made in 30 payments over 29 years, with the annual payment increasing over time to accommodate for inflation. If the winner(s) choose the lump-sum option, that amount in Iowa will be made in one wire transfer.
The Iowa Lottery stresses a few key points for its jackpot winner(s) as they prepare to claim the prize:
1. Sign the ticket if you have not already done so. That identifies the ticket and the prize involved as belonging to you.
2. Keep the winning ticket in a secure place until presenting it to claim the prize. The ticket is required for the prize to be paid.
3. Consult with a trusted financial planner or legal advisor before coming forward to claim the prize. This is a life-changing amount of money and the lottery wants its winners to have the information they need as they make their decisions.
They also give a general reminder that under Iowa law, information concerning lottery winners is public. The lottery is required to release the details about who won this prize and will work with its winner(s) to ensure that is done.
What’s the fastest way to get to $688 million? Take the A train.
One of two tickets that hit all the numbers in late October’s massive Powerball lottery was sold at a deli in Harlem — and the manager thinks the mysterious lucky winner is one of his regulars.
“We always have the same customers,” said Carlos Diaz, 52, of the West Harlem Deli on Fifth Avenue near West 126th Street. “We don’t really get new traffic.”
Diaz, who was elated the deli sold the ticket, said it’s good news for all of Harlem.
“I’m happy for the community, for the guy who won,” he said. “For the store, too, because, you know, it puts you on the spot. In the spotlight.”
While one ticket was sold in the heart of America’s largest city, the second with the winning numbers — 8, 12, 13, 19 and 27 and Powerball 4 — was sold at a remote convenience store in the Iowa town of Redfield, population 800.
As in Harlem, it was unknown who bought the ticket.
José Espinosa, 41, owns the Harlem deli with his father and told the Associated Press that he knows he sold the lucky ticket because “I’m always here. I live here.”
One local resident suggested the winner should take the cash and head for greener pastures.
“Whoever it is just got their family out of Harlem and into a big-ass house,” said Michael Williams, 57.
Others hoped the winner would use the windfall to give back to the community.
“I hope it went to a deserving person with a humble heart,” said neighborhood resident Angel Rivera, 49. “Just do us a favor and give back to this beautiful city.”
Another neighbor, Maria Lopez, 29, added of the lucky ticket-holder, “I’m happy for them. This area, too. I wouldn’t mind some of that money thrown my way.”
If the two winners go with the lump-sum payment, they will get $198.1 million each. Going the annuity route, they’ll each get $343.9 million over 29 years.
That’s before the feds shave 24 percent right off the top for taxes, of course.
“You see how many people go in there and buy a ticket?” said Charles Jenkins, 40 of Harlem.
“This guy best bring some bodyguards when he claims that ticket!”
The drawing came four days after someone won a $1.537 billion Mega Millions jackpot, the second-largest in lotto history.