The winner of the Mega Millions jackpot worth $1.537 billion is yet to be found, in spite of the fast approaching deadline. The anonymous player bought the lottery ticket at the KC Mart in Simpsonville, South Carolina, in October last year, and the draw was done on the night of Tuesday, October 23. The ticket matched all the six numbers 5, 28, 62, 65, 70, and Mega Ball 5.
Mega million players in South Carolina have a six month period (180 days) to claim their winnings, after which the ticket becomes obsolete. This means that the owner of the winning ticket has to come forward before April 21 to cash it in.
Mega millions to return unclaimed funds
Speaking for the South Carolina Education Lottery, Holli Armstrong said that Mega Millions will return the winnings to its member states if the ticket remains unclaimed after the deadline elapses. The multi-jurisdictional lottery game draws players from 44 U.S. states. South Carolina, which is one of the member states, will receive $11 million of the unclaimed prize money to support education.
Besides the lottery winner, other entities set to lose out if the ticket is not turned in to interstate lottery officials include the vendor, and the government of South Carolina. KC Mart owner might miss out on a $50k check while South Carolina stands to lose taxes in excess of $60 million.
The idea of a winning Mega Millions lottery ticket going unclaimed is not strange as two such incidences have happened in New York before. In 2002, a ticket worth $68 million disappeared in the state, and another $31 million ticket expired in 2007.
However, there’s still time for the jackpot winner to come forward if the 2017 incidence of a New Yorker turning in the winning lottery ticket just hours before the deadline is anything to go by. The owner of the missing ticket worth $24.1 million found it in an old shirt.
Ticket carries largest single payout
The yet to be found Mega Millions $1.537 billion ticket bears the largest single jackpot prize in the history of the US lottery. In 2016, Powerball Lottery awarded a record jackpot prize of $1.586 billion, but the spoils were split between three players from Florida, California, and Tennessee. The jackpot reward of $1.537 will therefore be the highest amount ever awarded to a single lottery player in the country. The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot at the moment stands at 1 in 302.5 million.