The biggest Mega Millions Jackpot was won by a single lucky ticket holder

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On Tuesday 23rd October, one lucky ticket holder made history, as winning South Carolina’s biggest ever lottery jackpot of $1.537 BILLION – yes, BILLION! The lucky ticket holder has two options as to what to do with the prize money;

  • Claim the full $1.537 billion jackpot and have it spread out over a long 29 years
  • Or choose the one-time cash option; this does mean a smaller prize of $878 million will be awarded, but still life-changing nonetheless.

Statistics show that a total of 15,750,014 players tried their luck with the super-draw, but only one was successful.

The Lucky Draw

The numbers drawn on Tuesday 23rd October for the Mega Millions Jackpot were; 5, 28, 62, 65 and 70 with the Mega Ball being number 5. There was a total of 34 other players who almost hit the jackpot, having matched 5 of the 6 numbers, which means they win a decent $1,000,000 each.

Mega Millions lottery is a popular lottery that is played in a total of 44 states across the US. The jackpot rolls over like it would with the National Lotto within the UK, which has seen it rolling over and increasing in value since the 24th July 2018. The last winners of the jackpot were a lucky syndicate of 11 office workers from California, who shared a staggering $543 million.

Now, that Mega Millions win was absolutely huge, but you may be surprised to learn that it wasn’t the biggest-ever lottery win recorded. This recent jackpot just short of the all-time US lottery record, which was set in January 2016; this was a Powerball lottery record that saw three ticket holders splitting $1.586 billion in cash.

Gordon Medenica, the lead director of the Mega Millions group said; “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.”

Another Winner

That’s not all! On Saturday 28th October, two lucky winners nabbed a $687.8 million Powerball jackpot, which marks the largest prize in the game’s history! The federal government will withhold 24% of those winnings for tax purposes. After 21 weeks of no winners, the Powerball jackpot was finally won, but whilst the two winners are waking up to life-changing news, on closer inspection, the winners will see their haul (whether taking the cash as a lump sum or spread out over 30 years), eaten into considerably by federal and state taxes.

If the winners go with the instant cash lump sum payment, they would each start with $198.1 million, compared to the $343.9 million they’d get each if they were to choose the annuity option. The federal government will shave off 245 instantly — and more will be due at tax time.

Regardless of the deductions, we think almost $199m is better than nothing!