The Latest: Anxious officials tweet to Mega Millions winner

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the Mega Millions lottery jackpot (all times local):

Noon EDT

If lottery officials in South Carolina seem just a bit anxious, who could blame them?

A flimsy little piece of paper that crossed the counter of a convenience store on a country road in Simpsonville, South Carolina, is now worth $1.537 billion, and they apparently don’t know the winner.

So lottery officials turned to Twitter to reach out, saying “Our message to the $1.5 BILLION #Mega Millions jackpot winner: Sign the back of the ticket, place the ticket in a safe location, speak with a trusted advisor and CALL THE LOTTERY at 1-866-736-9819. Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment!”


11:15 a.m.

Lottery officials are preparing a convenience store in rural Simpsonville, South Carolina for an onslaught of attention after revealing that the winning Mega Millions ticket worth more than $1.5 billion was sold there.

State lottery officials plan a news conference at the town’s KC Mart on Wednesday to celebrate the lucky sale.

The share of the winnings that goes to retailers in South Carolina is capped at $50,000.

The state doesn’t require lottery winners to identify themselves. For now, lottery officials are publicly urging the winner to sign the back of the ticket, put it in a safe location, seek financial or legal advice from a trusted source. They’re also urging the winner to call the Lottery. Winners have up to 180 days to come forward to claim their money.


8:25 a.m.

South Carolina’s lottery director says they hope to reveal the identity of the store that sold the winning ticket by mid-day Wednesday.

In an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” South Carolina Education Lottery Director William Hogan Brown says the store could be identified around the noon hour. That should give them time to get security in place, since attention should be red-hot.

Asked whether the name of the winner would ever come to light, Brown said “Perhaps not.” South Carolina law allows winners to remain anonymous.

Mega Millions officials say a ticket purchased in South Carolina matches all six numbers in Tuesday night’s drawing. That flimsy piece of paper is now worth $1.537 billion, just shy of a world-record.


8:04 a.m.

Lottery officials say someone bought a ticket in South Carolina to win the Mega Millions jackpot with a final total of $1.537 billion, just shy of the all-time world record.

The earlier Mega Millions estimate of $1.6 billion would have been a world record for lotteries, but actual sales came in just below the $1.586 billion Powerball jackpot prize shared by winners in California, Florida and Tennessee in January of 2016.

The ticket sold Tuesday is worth about $877.8 million in a lump-sum cash payment, which most winners choose to take.


For the AP’s complete coverage of the lottery:

Categories: National News