The South Carolina resident has claimed the prize as a lump sum payout of $877,784,124. In the more than four months since the winning numbers were announced on October 22, 2018, the winner likely sought financial advice to determine how to accept the payout. He or she retained Jason Kurland of Rivkin Radler of New York to provide legal representation and act as spokesperson.
Radler earned the nickname “The Lottery Lawyer” by representing winners of some of the largest lottery jackpots in the country including winners in lotteries of $254.2 million, $336.4 million, and $121.6 million. In 2017, he was named one of the Top 40 Rising Stars in Business Under 40 by Long Island Business News.
This is the largest jackpot payout to a single winner in United States history. It is also South Carolina’s first Mega Millions jackpot win. “We are delighted that the winner is a South Carolinian and has come forward to claim this remarkable prize,” the South Carolina Education Lottery Commission’s Executive Director Hogan Brown, said.
An apparent random act of kindness lead to the winner’s good fortune. “The winner reportedly allowed another Mega Millions player to go ahead of him at the KC Mart on Lee Vaughn Road in Simpsonville before purchasing that winning quick-pick ticket,” reports Fox News Carolina.
Both the KC Mart in Simpsonville, South Carolina where the winning ticket was purchased and the state of South Carolina will benefit from the claim, each taking $50,000 and $61 million, respectively, now that the winner has come forward. C.J. Patel, owner of the KC Mart #7, estimates after taxes his cut might be closer to $30,000, and he plans to share it with employees and make improvements on the store.
The winning ticket was announced in October but has remained unclaimed until now. There was a 180 day limit on claiming the prize, so the winner was still well within the time limit when they came forward.
Mums the Word
“South Carolina is one of eight states — along with Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas — where winners can opt to keep their identity a secret,” reports New York Post.
The potential for harassment is an obvious reason these states choose to protect winners, but not everyone agrees.
Minnesota is one state where lottery winners must be identified. “The Legislature has made a priority of government transparency,” said Adam Prock, director of communications and legislative affairs at the Minnesota Lottery. “We want the public to know these games are fair and that they can see someone actually won,” he told the Star Tribune.