Mega Millions $1.6 Billion Jackpot Still Unclaimed, Winning Ticket Sold in South Carolina

mega millions lottery 1.6 billions
A man walks past advertisements for the Mega Millions and Powerball lottery hanging on a window of the New York Lottery Customer Service Center, October 23 in New York City. The singular winner of the grand prize has yet to claim their prize. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

After millions of people played, one lucky person won over a billion dollars in the Mega Millions lottery, but the rightful owner has yet to come forward.

The numbers for the massive $1.6 billion drawing, which took place on October 23, were five, 28, 62, 65 and 70. The Megaball was five and the megaplier was 3. More than 20 people in more than 10 states matched all five numbers but failed to match the megaball, leaving their winnings at three million dollars each. Those winning tickets were sold in:

  • Arizona and California (8)
  • Washington, D.C., and Florida (3)
  • Iowa, Kentucky and Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia (2)
  • New Mexico, New York (4)
  • Wisconsin (1)

However, there was only one lucky ticket sold that matched all five numbers and the megaball, making it the only owner of the $1.6 billion jackpot. Although it's known that the ticket was sold in South Carolina, it's unclear who purchased it. Holli Armstrong of the South Carolina Education Lottery confirmed to Newsweek that the ticket is still unclaimed.

Although Mega Millions tickets are sold across the nation, rules differ depending on the state where tickets are being purchased and sold. Some states give winners a full year to claim their prize but in South Carolina, the winner has only 180 days to come forward. The deadline to claim the massive payout will be April 21.

When the person claims the prize, KC Mart, where the ticket was sold will receive a $50,000 bonus, according to WLTX.

If the person doesn't come forward, the official rules of Mega Millions dictate that each state will get back the money that it paid into the lottery to be used how the state sees fit. If it isn't claimed, South Carolina will lose out on $60 million in unrestricted tax revenue, WLTX reported.

Holli Armstrong with the South Carolina Education Lottery told WLTX that the winner needs to sign the back of the ticket, secure it in a safe location and speak to someone they trust such as a lawyer or financial advisor. Given the large sum of money, she said there's nothing to compare the winnings to.

"We're still very excited here at the South Carolina education lottery," Armstrong said. "Because this is such an unprecedented sum of money, we recognize it might take the winner a little bit longer than normal. But, there's really not a normal when you're talking about a $1.5 billion jackpot."

Even if the person holding the golden ticket claims the prize, there's no guarantee that the public will know who purchased the ticket. In South Carolina, winners are legally allowed to stay anonymous. The other seven states that allow incognito winners are Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas.

The winner has the option to take the prize in annual payouts or as one lump sum. If they choose the cash option, the payout will be $913.7 million.