COLUMBIA, S.C. — After much anticipation, the winner of the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot came forward to claim her prize last week. She has chosen to remain anonymous.
Last October, the record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot captivated the nation. Millions of people held their breath as the winning numbers were revealed. In South Carolina, the ultimate dream was realized.
Officials say the winner is a South Carolinian who was visiting in Greenville when she decided to go on a scenic drive during some down time. As fate would have it, her drive took her past the KC Mart, where the signs showing the incredibly large jackpot caught her eye. She decided to take a chance and purchase a ticket, never once thinking she had the slightest chance to win.
After checking her ticket the morning after the drawing, officials say she was in complete shock and disbelief. She reportedly stared motionless at the ticket for what felt like hours before jumping and screaming for joy.
Lottery officials say the winner spent time researching experienced professionals to help preserve her anonymity and manage her new-found wealth.
“I hired a team with experience handling large jackpot winners,” the winner said. “I want to make sure I make all of the right decisions, which is why I have taken this amount of time to collect my prize.”
Jason Kurland, an attorney for the winner, says she plans to begin her philanthropic endeavors and show her appreciation to the State of South Carolina and the City of Simpsonville by providing charitable donations to the following organizations:
- Ronald McDonald House of Charities of Columbia, SC
- One SC Fund – for Hurricane Florence Relief
- In The Middle, Columbia, SC
- City of Simpsonville Art Center
- American Red Cross Alabama Region ‐ Tornado Relief Fund
“Words can’t describe the feeling of such incredible luck,” the winner said. “I do realize that such good fortune carries a tremendous social responsibility, and it gives me a unique opportunity to assist, support and contribute to charities and causes that are close to my heart.”
The winner says she is thankful that South Carolina allows lottery winners to claim their prize anonymously and sincerely hopes that her wish to remain anonymous is respected so that she can live a relatively normal life, free of fear.