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A Winning Ticket In S.C. For $1.5 Billion, One Of Largest Jackpots In Lottery History

Updated 8:53 a.m. ET

A winning Mega Millions ticket for a $1.537 billion lottery — one of the largest ever — was sold in South Carolina, according to the South Carolina Education State Lottery.

The stunning lump-sum cash payout, should the lucky winner choose to take it: nearly $878 million.

The drawing was at 11 p.m. ET Tuesday, and the odds of holding the winning ticket were about 1 in 302 million.

The winning numbers were 5, 28, 62, 65 and 70, with a Mega Ball of 5.

The California Lottery said it sold 8 tickets matching 5 of the 6 numbers. Those ticket holders will win "a still undetermined amount of prize money," it said. Also, the Texas Lottery said a $3 million winning ticket for Tuesday's drawing was sold in San Antonio.

There could be more lucky ticket holders — not all states have reported if they sold any partially winning ticket numbers.

A spokeswoman for the Maryland Lottery said the jackpot came in just shy of the record $1.586 billion Powerball prize in January 2016, according to the Associated Press.

"Estimates are based on historical patterns," Carole Gentry told the AP in a phone interview Wednesday. "The jackpot's been rolling since it was hit in July in California, but there are few precedents for a jackpot of this size. Typically, about 70 percent of sales occur on the drawing day, so forecasting precise numbers in advance can be difficult. That's why we always use the term estimate."

The prize rose to $1.5 billion after no one won the jackpot in a drawing last Friday. Mega Millions lead director Gordon Medenica told NPR that 280 million tickets were sold for the drawing that day.

As for who holds that golden ticket, the winner may never be known, as South Carolina is among several states that allow winners to remain anonymous.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Corrected: October 23, 2018 at 11:00 PM CDT
A previous version of this story misspelled Maryland Lottery spokeswoman Carole Gentry's first name as Carol.