What would you do if you know that the Mega Millions lottery jackpot has reached 1.5 billion dollars and you’ve submitted a ticket for the drawing when the massive sum eventually fell? The chances are that you’ll rush to check the winning numbers immediately, right? The chances are that you’ll also head to the Mega Millions office immediately if you knew that you’d want.
Well, the latest US billion dollar lottery winner didn’t do the same thing. They waited 132 days before coming forward to claim the prize.
The Making of the Biggest Mega Millions Jackpot
The largest jackpot in US history won by a single person fell on October 23, 2018. Before that, just one Powerball jackpot surpassed the number, but it was split between three winning ticket holders.
Until recently, only a few things were known about the US billion dollar lottery winner.
Mega Millions announced that the winning ticket was bought at a KC Mart in Simpsonville, South Carolina. Starting October 23, the winner was given 180 days to come forward and claim the incredible amount.
Everybody was curious to find out who had changed their life forever.
The waiting started. The public in the US, as well as Mega Millions officials waited for the lucky one to come forward. They waited. They waited some more. One hundred days after the announcement of the Mega Millions jackpot falling, nobody had come forward to make a claim.
One lucky lady eventually made the announcement she was the big winner. Actually, she didn’t say anything. Her lawyer did as the biggest single winner in the history of US lottery decided to remain anonymous.
A Good Deed Goes Unpunished
At the beginning of March 2019, more detailed surfaced about the chain of events that contributed to the massive win.
As per an official lottery statement, the winner committed a simple act of kindness that turned her life around.
While waiting in line to get her lottery ticket for the massive drawing, the winner decided to let someone cut before her. She eventually reached the counter to get a quick pick ticket randomly generated for her.
As per the official statement, the luckiest winner on the face of the planet is still in awe when it comes to simple everyday decisions and their power to have incredible consequences.
The winner also provided some information about her decision to wait so long before claiming the prize. According to her lawyer, she was looking for someone to assist her with the massive list of decisions about becoming a millionaire. Thus, it wasn’t a simple story of someone losing their ticket or just forgetting about it. It was a story of rational thinking for the future.
What Would Happen to the Millions?
South Carolina is one of the few US states that allow their lottery winners to remain anonymous. The only other places in the country where this is possible include Ohio, Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Texas, and Georgia.
The billion dollar lottery winner announced she decided to withhold her identity from the public to lead a worry-free life in the future. We believe this is a smart decision and the numerous disastrous stories of lottery winners who lost it all because of friends, relatives, and ill-wishers stand as evidence of the claim.
According to the winner’s lawyer, Jason Kurland, she already has made some critical decisions about using the money.
For a start, the winner chose a lump sum payment rather than annuities. This means she will get 877.78 million dollars after taxes. Some of the money will be dedicated to philanthropy and supporting charitable causes.
Some of the charities that will benefit from the large award include Ronald McDonald House of Charities of Columbia, the City of Simpsonville Art Center, the American Red Cross and a fund for Hurricane Florence relief.
The winner announced that coming in possession of so much money carried its social responsibility, which made her feel the obligation to give something back – especially to her local South Carolina home of Simpsonville.
The winner, however, isn’t the only one that will benefit from her great luck.
Since it sold her the winning ticket, the KC Mart will receive a Mega Millions award of 50,000 dollars. The owner CJ Patel said that interest in the store had already increased massively because of the news that the billion-dollar ticket was sold there.
South Carolina as a state will collect 61 million dollars in the form of income taxes from the winner.
Was Waiting a Smart Decision?
Some praise the lucky lady from South Caroline for her decision to wait and assess all options before coming forward to claim the prize. Others who have been too quick to enjoy their millions ended up spending most on lavish purchases, eventually ending up to be poorer than they were originally.
More financially-savvy people, however, believe that waiting 132 days was a big, big mistake.
Had the winner come forward immediately, she could have put the 878 million dollars into a savings account. Given the fact that most savings accounts pay an interest rate of two percent, she could have increased the amount of her prize by 5.8 million dollars already.
What do you think about the situation? Every story has two sides, and it’s more than certain that 1.5 billion dollars will shake up one’s existence, no matter what. How will you act in the winner’s shoes and what will your strategy for turning life around be?