Winning $1.6B Mega Millions ticket sold in S. Carolina

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Lottery officials say someone has won the record $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot.

Mega Millions officials said a ticket purchased in South Carolina matches all six numbers in Tuesday night's drawing. The massive jackpot is the world's largest ever lottery grand prize.

The winning numbers were5, 28, 62, 65, 70 and Mega Ball 5. No details on where the winning ticket was sold were immediately available. But the lucky player overcame miserable odds: The chance of matching all six numbers and winning the top prize is 1 in 302.5 million.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

It will likely be days or even weeks before a winner steps forward to claim the prize. Lottery officials and financial managers encourage people to take time to map out a strategy for investing their hundreds of millions of dollars, and winners must deal with security concerns befitting someone who suddenly is immensely wealthy. Depending on the state, winners have from 180 days to a year to claim their prize.

In eight states — Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina and Texas — winners can remain anonymous, but in the others their identities will become public.

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Mega Millions frenzy during October 2018 drawings
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Mega Millions frenzy during October 2018 drawings
Customers buy Mega Millions tickets hours before the draw of the USD 1 billion jackpot, at the Bluebird Liquor store in Torrance, California on October 19, 2018. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
An Illinois Lottery billboard advertisement, featuring the Mega Millions, is seen on the northwest side along the I-90 Kennedy Expressway in Chicago, IL on October 20, 2018. The jackpot is now $1.6 billion, a record breaking Mega Millions jackpot. Currently the jackpot is tied with the largest jackpot in U.S. history. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Dan Higgins stands outside of a 7-Eleven in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston where he bought a Mega Millions ticket on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. If he wins, Higgins says he’d take care of his children’s education and buy a probably buy a big house on the ocean. (AP Photo/Alanna Durkin Richer)
BOCA RATON - OCTOBER 19: Atmosphere as the Mega Millions lottery hits One Billion on October 19, 2018 in Boca Raton, Florida/ Credit: mpi04/MediaPunch /IPX
Annette Gray, left, from Valley Stream, N.Y., buys lottery tickets Friday Oct. 19, 2018, in New York. The estimated jackpot for Friday's Mega Millions drawing has soared to $1 billion. Gray said it's about "a dollar and a dream, but I spent ten today". (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Russell Robinson buys 50 Mega Millions lottery tickets at the Kwik Stop food store at 46th Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood, Fla., Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
People line up at the Kwik Stop food store at 46th Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood, Fla., to buy Mega Millions lottery tickets, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
Mega Millions lottery tickets are printed out of a lottery machine at a convenience store Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Chicago. The estimated jackpot for Friday's drawing would be the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history with a jackpot estimated to exceed $900 million. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Mega Millions bet cards are shown at the Corner Market, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Lyndhurst, Ohio. The estimated jackpot for Friday's drawing would be the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history with a jackpot estimated to exceed $900 million. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Mega Millions lottery tickets are printed out of a lottery machine at a convenience store Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Chicago. The estimated jackpot for Friday's drawing would be the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history with a jackpot estimated to exceed $900 million. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
NEW YORK, USA - OCTOBER 19: Mega Millions Lottery ticket is seen as the prize reached $1 billion before the drawing in New York, United States on October 19, 2018. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - OCTOBER 19: A woman buys Mega Millions lottery ticket as the Mega Millions Lottery prize reached $1 billion before the drawing in New York, United States on October 19, 2018. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
An Illinois Lottery billboard advertisement, featuring the Mega Millions, is seen on the northwest side along the I-90 Kennedy Expressway in Chicago, IL on October 20, 2018. The jackpot is now $1.6 billion, a record breaking Mega Millions jackpot. Currently the jackpot is tied with the largest jackpot in U.S. history. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - OCTOBER 18: A sign displays that the Mega Millions Lottery prize is estimated $1 billion before the drawing in New York, United States on October 18, 2018. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, USA - OCTOBER 19: People wait in the line to buy Mega Millions lottery ticket as the Mega Millions Lottery prize reached $1 billion before the drawing in New York, United States on October 19, 2018. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A woman shows her Mega Millions tickets hours before the draw of the USD 1 billion jackpot, at the Bluebird Liquor store in Torrance, California on October 19, 2018. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Customers buy Mega Millions tickets hours before the draw of the USD 1 billion jackpot, at the Bluebird Liquor store in Torrance, California on October 19, 2018. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
A man reaches for his Mega Millions tickets hours before the draw of the USD 1 billion jackpot, at the Bluebird Liquor store in Torrance, California on October 19, 2018. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
People line up in the hallway of a midtown New York City office building to buy Mega Millions tickets on October 19, 2018, as the jackpot hit record USD 1 billion. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Carlos Davila holds up his Mega Millions lottery tickets at a Brooklyn store on October 19, 2018 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The jackpot for tonight's drawing has now climbed to $1 billion, making it the largest jackpot in the game's history and the first to top the $1 billion mark. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
People line up in the hallway of a midtown New York City office building to buy Mega Millions tickets on October 19, 2018, as the jackpot hit record USD 1 billion. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
REFILE - CORRECTING TYPO Mega Millions entry tickets are seen at a newsstand after the jackpot for Tuesday's drawing topped $650 million in New York City, New York, U.S., October 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
An impromptu "One Billion dollars" sign is on display as customers line up to buy Mega Millions tickets at a newsstand in midtown Manhattan in New York, U.S., October 19, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Sugar
A customer purchases a ticket for the Mega Millions lottery drawing in New York City, U.S., October 19, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
A lottery ticket for the current record breaking $667 million U.S. Mega Millions jackpot is shown in this illustration photograph in Encinitas, California, U.S. October 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A ticket is seen ahead of the Mega Millions lottery draw which reached a jackpot of $415 Million in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 1, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
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The Mega Millions jackpot grew so large because it had been nearly three months since a player had matched all six numbers and won the top prize. The last time that happened was July 24, when 11 co-workers from California won a $543 million prize.

Although Tuesday's jackpot was extraordinarily large, it's no fluke. It reflects a trend toward ever-growing lottery prizes due to changes in the game that worsened the odds with hopes that bigger jackpots would result in better sales.

Officials with the Powerball game were the first to make that move in October 2015 when changing the odds of winning the jackpot from 1 in 175 million to 1 in 292.2 million. Mega Millions followed suit in October 2017, resulting in the odds worsening from 1 in 259 million to 1 in 302.5 million.

The $1.6 billion prize reflects the annuity option, paid over 29 years. However, nearly all winners take the cash option, which for Tuesday's drawing was an estimated $913 million.

While most attention has been on the Mega Millions game, Powerball also has been soaring. The estimated prize for Powerball's annuity option in Wednesday night's drawing is $620 million, with a cash prize of $354.3 million.

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