Lawyer for winner of $1.5B lotto steps forward, winner allowed customer to cut line before purchase

Was it forever lost? Was it stolen? Was it ripped up and thrown out? Did someone panic at winning such a staggering amount and just refuse to cash it in?

These questions are now answered.

A lawyer for the winner of last October’s $1.5 billion lottery came forward on Monday and told local news outlets that the winner intends to stay anonymous and will take a one-time payment of $877.8 million, the largest jackpot payout ever to a single winner. The winner would only become an actual billionaire by taking the prize in annual installments over three decades and hanging on to the bulk of the money.

It was revealed Monday that the winner allowed a fellow customer in line last October at the KC Mart in Simpsonville, S.C., to cut the line to purchase a ticket, an act of kindness that paid off.

“The winner marvels at how every decision made that day brought the winner to the store, at that very moment, to make the Quick Pick Mega Millions lottery ticket purchase,” the lottery said. The ticket matched all six numbers, defying the 1 in 302.5 million odds.

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The only thing we know about the winner: the person lives in South Carolina. The state allows its lotto winners to remain anonymous, The Post Courier reported. 

The state will collect $61 million in income taxes from the jackpot, the paper reported. The report said that the state is considering a budget proposal that would kick back $50 to each resident in the state since there would be $35 million in additional funds in tax collections.

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Jee Patel, the manager of the store that sold the winning lotto ticket, told Fox News earlier that “lotto tourists” stop in daily to take pictures of the place. He estimated between 10 to 15 visitors a day. He said everyone in the community was talking about who may have won.