Columbia, SC (WLTX) — How quickly would you turn in a ticket for a $1.5 billion jackpot?
That’s the question lottery officials are asking 8 weeks after they announced a ticket sold in South Carolina won the record Mega Millions prize.
It was a wild scene at the KC Mart #7 in Simpsonville on October 24. It was the site where the winning ticket was sold. National and local media descended on the store, located on Lee Vaughn Road, to ask the same question.
Where is the winner?
But 8 weeks later, Holli Armstrong with the South Carolina Education Lottery is asking people to check their tickets again.
“We want to encourage anyone who purchased a ticket from the KC Mart #7 on Lee Vaughn Road in Simpsonville to please check your tickets! We really want to meet the winner!” Armstrong said on Monday.
Lottery officials are not alone in that wish.
The KC Mart and South Carolina state coffers are waiting for a winner.
Until someone claims the prize, the store doesn't get its $50,000 bonus for selling the ticket. South Carolina would also lose out on $60 million in unrestricted tax revenue.
The $60 million is separate from the $10 million from ticket sales set aside for education.
Armstrong said the folks at the lottery office are staying optimistic.
“We're still very excited here at the South Carolina education lottery. Because, this is such an unprecedented sum of money, we recognize it might take the winner a little bit longer than normal. But, there's really not a normal when you're talking about a $1.5 billion jackpot. There's nothing to compare that to,” Armstrong said.
The winner would take home $877 million if they chose the cash payout lump sum.
Under South Carolina rules, they have till mid-April to claim their prize and can remain anonymous.
Armstrong said the state-mandated 180-day collection deadline is Friday, April 19, 2019.
Technically, the full 180 days from the drawing is Sunday, April 21.
“You need to sign the back of that winning ticket, you need to secure that ticket in a safe location, then you need to speak with someone you trust like a lawyer or financial advisor,” Armstrong advised the winner.
The lucky person does have to visit the rewards center on Assembly Street in Columbia with the ticket signed to claim their prize.
If no one ever claims the prize, the jackpot is deemed ‘unclaimed prize money’ and is split among all participating Mega Millions states. In South Carolina, the portion of the potentially unclaimed jackpot would go towards education.