Somewhere in South Carolina, a lucky lottery ticket holder celebrated a major victory Tuesday night.
The anonymous Mega Millions jackpot winner took home the ultimate $1.537 billion pot — just short of the country's biggest lottery prize ever.
“The moment we’ve been waiting for finally arrived, and we couldn’t be more excited,” Gordon Medenica, lead director of the Mega Millions Group and director of Maryland Lottery and Gaming, said in an online statement. “This is truly a historic occasion. We’re so happy for the winner, and we know the South Carolina Education Lottery can’t wait to meet the lucky ticket holder.”
Here's everything you need to know about the Oct. 23 Mega Millions winners.
Who won the Mega Millions?
Only one person in the nation matched all six numbers in the Mega Millions drawing, and that person has yet to be identified.
In fact, it's possible we may never know the name of the winner.
South Carolina is one of eight states — along with Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota, Ohio and Texas — where winners can remain anonymous. South Carolina's previous record-holder — someone who bought a $400 million Powerball ticket in the Columbia area in 2013 — never wanted to be identified.
But in the coming days, we'll likely learn about "smaller" victories.
The South Carolina winner isn't the only person taking home cash. There were 36 second prize tickets sold Tuesday night — eight in California, 4 in both Florida and New York, two each in Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey and Virginia, and one each in Arizona, the District of Columbia, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin, according to Mega Millions.
"In total, there were 15,750,013 winning tickets Tuesday night in addition to the jackpot winner. In this 26-draw jackpot run, beginning with the July 27 drawing there were more than 50.2 million winning tickets at all prize levels, including 85 worth $1 million or more and the jackpot winner," Mega Millions announced on its website.
How much is the winning lottery ticket actually worth?
The ticket sold worth about $877.8 million in a lump-sum cash payment, which most winners choose to take, rather than collect the full amount in annual payments over three decades.
"The final total was less than the $1.6 billion estimate," said Carol Gentry, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Lottery, which leads a consortium of state lotteries participating in the Mega Millions jackpot.
What were the odds of winning of the jackpot?
This is not "The Hunger Games." No one is pretending (or even wishing) the odds will be ever in your favor.
Players had a roughly one in 302.5 million chance of taking home the $1.6 billion pot.
The last time someone hit the jackpot was July 24, when a group in California won $543 million.
What were the winning lottery numbers?
The winning numbers were 5, 28, 62, 65, 70 and Mega Ball 5.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.