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Biggest Jackpot Ever? Here Are the Facts

Wed 14 Nov 2018, By Dean Cromwell
Will we ever learn who won?

The odds were 1 in 302.6 million, but it did happen. Last month saw the winner of the biggest ever MegaMillions jackpot, reported to be a staggering $1.6-Billion.

Someone from South Carolina beat the odds with the winning lottery numbers 5-28-62-65-70 and MegaBall 5. They now stand to become an instant multi-millionaire.

Wait, only a multi-millionaire? Why not a billionaire? Well, the winner has two options, and neither would result in an actual payout of over $1-Billion. If they want the full jackpot amount they will have to wait for it - the full jackpot gets paid out in annuities over 29 years. If they choose the cash lump sum option, that's still a staggering $878-Million. Even after the tax is taken by Uncle Sam it will remain a truly extravagant amount - no matter how you want to live, you’d be set for life.

That’s why lottery ticket holders were waiting in expectation for the draw on Tuesday, 23 October. The jackpot had been growing steadily since the last win in July. There were no takers for more than 10 weeks and as the jackpot passed the $1-Billion mark there was such huge excitement that the jackpot was soon pushed to the $1.5-Billion mark.

It’s great when there are regular winners, but even more exciting to see someone walk away with such a large sum. That’s what keeps the game exciting, right?

Who is the Real Big Winner?

Will there ever be another winner of this magnitude? Of course there could be, because it’s not the first time this has happened. Unbelievably, the recent MegaMillions jackpot wasn’t even the biggest jackpot win in lottery history.

Although it was initially estimated at over $1.6-Billion, after careful calculation of the draw's lottery ticket sales it was found the final jackpot amount was $1.54-Billion. That’s not quite enough to topple the current world record jackpot - a win of $1.586-Billion from a Powerball draw in 2016.

On that occasion, the huge payout was shared by three different ticket holders:

  • The Robinson family
  • Maureen Smith and David Kaltschmidt
  • The Acosta family

Most of them opted for the $327M lump sum payouts.

Although this win isn’t the biggest jackpot ever, October’s MegaMillions win is the largest ever win by a single ticket holder. We just don’t know if it’s held by a single person or a syndicate.

Would You Stay Anonymous Too?

Now, here’s the unfortunate news: We may never learn the name of the lucky person holding the winning lottery ticket. It was purchased in South Carolina which offers players the opportunity to stay anonymous. This same option is available in:

  • Texas
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Kansas
  • Maryland
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio

It’s understandable if you want to enjoy your newfound riches on your own. However, we do hope this winner comes forward eventually, in the same way the Acostas did in 2016. They took their time but after a few weeks shared their good news with the world.

The winner has 180 days from the draw to make their plans. If they don't come forward by the 21st of April 2019, the prize money will revert to the State of South Carolina and will be added to a fund that supports education in the state.

Will you share your ecstatic news with others when it’s your turn for a win? Just remember you won’t win if you don’t get your lottery ticket ready for this week’s draw. There’s already $122-Million up for grabs with the MegaMillions this Friday, and there’s no guarantee the next jackpot win will take so long to come around again. What if you’re that winner?

You also never know which type of winner you’ll be: Five correct numbers and the MegaBall have made many people MegaMillions millionaires over the past few months. Wouldn't you like to join their numbers?