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Winning ticket in $1.6bn US Mega Millions lottery jackpot

  • A lottery ticket holder in South Carolina has scooped the largest jackpot in US history
    Mega Millions confirmed there was one winner for the whopping $1.6bn prize. A lottery ticket holder in South Carolina has scooped the largest jackpot in US history
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A lottery ticket holder in South Carolina has scooped the largest jackpot in US history.
Mega Millions confirmed there was one winner for the whopping $1.6bn prize.

The jackpot numbers were: 28, 70, 5, 62, 65, with a Mega Ball of 5. The odds of choosing those numbers were said to be one in more than 300 million.

People had been lining up at service stations and stores nationwide for a chance to win the huge prize.

Tickets for the Mega Millions draw are sold in 44 US states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands and there had not been a top prize winner since July.

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

"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 can decide to take a cash payout of $913m after tax, or opt to have it paid out in instalments over 29 years.

The huge jackpot had lottery ticket buyers speculating on what they would do with the money if they won. Some dreamt of buying an island or a fast car, others of opening shops and creating jobs.

The lottery firm said Tuesday's draw saw 36 people win second prize, and 419 win the $10,000 third prize.

Mega Millions was created in 2002 and has seen a number of changes to the rules over the years that have reduced the odds of winning, leading to larger jackpots.

Top five US previous jackpot wins
$1.58bn: A Powerball win in 2016. The prize was split three ways by ticket holders from California, Florida and Tennessee
$758.7m: Won in 2017 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
$590.5m: A Powerball jackpot won by an 84-year-old Florida woman