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4 months later, mystery and rumors surround Mega Millions $1.5 billion jackpot

Feb 23, 2019, 8:16 pm

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Mega MillionsMega Millions: 4 months later, mystery and rumors surround Mega Millions $1.5 billion jackpotRating:

Four months after South Carolina's first Mega Millions jackpot win, the staggering $1.5 billion prize remains unclaimed.

That leaves two months until the six-month deadline to cash in the winning lottery ticket — and more time to speculate on what's taking the person so long to collect their winnings.

The winning ticket for the Oct. 23 drawing was sold at Simpsonville's KC Mart #7, and signs in the store window proclaim, "We sold a Mega Millions ticket worth... $1.5 billion."

Still, mystery surrounds the unclaimed jackpot as the convenience store and state officials wait for the winner to come forward.

"It wasn't me," Ray Black said with a laugh as he checked the numbers on a lottery ticket recently at the KC Mart #7.

Missing out on millions

The holder of the winning ticket could've accrued millions of dollars in interest over the past four months.

Hans Blake, principal owner of Intelligent Investing, did the math and calculated that if the winner had taken the $878 million offered as a lump-sum payment back in October and deposited it in a savings account with an interest rate of 2 percent, the money would have grown by about $5.8 million over the past four months.

And, Blake said, investing in the stock market at a 7-percent rate of return would have generated an additional $20 million or so over the past four months.

But, hey, what's a few million when you've got a $1.5 billion ticket?

With the jackpot continuing to go unclaimed, KC Mart #7 owners and the state of South Carolina also can't cash in.

The winner would pay about $60 million in state income taxes.

KC Mart #7 also can't claim their share of the winnings, around $50,000 before taxes, store manager Gee Patel said.

If the jackpot isn't claimed, the money goes back to the states that contributed to the jackpot. The amount is based on ticket sales. South Carolina's share would be about $11.2 million, South Carolina Education Lottery spokeswoman Holli Armstrong said.

Who is SC's Mega Millions winner?

Patel said that the lucky ticket has continued to bring in customers hoping that lottery lightning will strike twice. 

They buy "everything" lottery-related, Patel said.

Many customers ask Patel if he knows who the winner is, but he is just as curious as they are. And he does have a theory as to why the ticket-holder has yet to claim the money.

"Maybe they are putting everything in order, you know," Patel said.

Kent Early was purchasing scratch-offs on a recent afternoon at KC Mart #7. He said he occasionally buys tickets for the weekly drawings.

"Every once in a while, on a night that I know they're fixing to draw, if I remember, and it's convenient, and I'm passing by, I'll stop by and pick a couple of numbers for either the Powerball or the Mega Millions," Early said.

Rumors about the winner have flown around town since the drawing. Early said he heard that "it was the guy in Fountain Inn or the guy in Gray Court or the guy here or there... but nobody knows."

Dale Parker said he also heard the rumors back in October, but the person's identity is still a mystery. 

Parker doesn't play the lottery, but "I wish I'd played it that day," he said.

Greenville News

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93 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by Artist77.
Page 1 of 7
United States
Member #163184
January 22, 2015
2327 Posts

Anybody on board to think that the ticket has been lost, washed or destroyed by the sun on a dashboard?  Initially thought they were waiting for the new tax year, was wrong on that account.


Time will tell...

    New Member
    Bham - AL
    United States
    Member #5448
    July 5, 2004
    2 Posts

    My theory, someone bought it  and did not want "that ticket" so store took it back and gave them the ticket they wanted.

      CDanaT's avatar - Nolz june15.jpg
      Central TN
      United States
      Member #121189
      January 4, 2012
      4837 Posts

      I'm going with the"LoL"theory... Landfill or Lost

      Integrity: There is just no substitute.

        United States
        Member #32651
        February 14, 2006
        9041 Posts

        Anybody on board to think that the ticket has been lost, washed or destroyed by the sun on a dashboard?  Initially thought they were waiting for the new tax year, was wrong on that account.


        Time will tell...

        It's starting to look the person who bought the ticket never checked and/or tossed it in the trash. If they have video of that person buying the ticket, will SC suspend their rules and declare that person the jackpot winner?

        After all with a 7% state tax, South Carolina will lose a huge chunk of change if the prize is divided among all the MM states.

          s5thomps's avatar - Lottery-033.jpg
          Hard Luck, Ak
          United States
          Member #23471
          October 13, 2005
          362 Posts

          I'm going with the"LoL"theory... Landfill or Lost

          As much media coverage that drawing had I doubt if that ticket was lost. I'm sure with if the store had camera surveillance they have a idea when the ticket was purchased and who purchased it. Although I see no reason in taking so long to claim maybe they just want to wait until the 11th hour. I'm sure the media coverage will heat up once the deadline gets closer. I would hate to see someone miss out on a 1.5 billion dollar windfall and I'm sure South Carolina doesn't want to miss out on the 61 million for selling the winning ticket.


          "We make a living by what you get, You make a LIFE by what you give!"

                                                                         Sir Winston ChurchillSun Smiley

            music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
            USN United States Navy
            Fresno, California
            United States
            Member #157851
            August 2, 2014
            3959 Posts

            Illegal drugs are a major problem in America. Fentanyl is death. Could this person have purchased the ticket and the overdosed on drugs? Possibly losing the ticket somewhere along his path. Is this reality in America today? 

             "We are all in this together!" 

              jackpotismine's avatar - kanji for_peace.jpg
              Member #57908
              January 23, 2008
              4588 Posts

              My guess is that it's an elderly person (70's or 80's) that buys tickets from time to time and hasn't checked it yet. Probably has the ticket in her/his purse/wallet. This person is perhaps absent minded as well. 

              I believe in Occam's razor:

              The Simplest Answer is Usually Correct.Yes Nod

                Sacramento, CA
                United States
                Member #142450
                May 12, 2013
                83 Posts

                I'm still going with the dog ate it.

                  Coin Toss's avatar - shape barbed.jpg
                  Zeta Reticuli Star System
                  United States
                  Member #30469
                  January 17, 2006
                  11508 Posts

                  Time traveller........

                  Came back from the future (John Titor perhaps)

                  bought the ticket, realized it won, went back to their time,

                  couldn't get back here to cash it.........yet


                  Those who run the lotteries love it when players look for consistency in something that's designed not to have any. So many systems, so many theories, so few jackpot winners. 


                  There is one and only one 'proven' system, and that is to book the action. No matter the game, let the players pick their own losers.

                    js1237's avatar - scenery water_mountains.jpg
                    NEW YORK
                    United States
                    Member #3100
                    December 23, 2003
                    344 Posts

                    In New York the Mega is valid for up to one year, which should be the law for ALL STATES.

                    "May The Numbers Be With Us All $$$$"....js1237....Sun Smiley

                      KY Floyd's avatar - lysol avatar.jpg
                      United States
                      Member #23834
                      October 16, 2005
                      4273 Posts

                      "Hans Blake, principal owner of Intelligent Investing, did the math and ..."

                      Apparently doesn't know much about state and federal tax withholding, since the math doesn't account for losing about 30% right off the bat. If I ever need an investment company in SC I know one that won't be in the running.


                      "If they have video of that person buying the ticket, will SC suspend their rules and declare that person the jackpot winner?"

                      I suppose they could try, but I can't imagine it would work.

                      Based on sales for the last couple of PB jackpots SC accounts for less than 2% of total sales. That would mean that less than $17 million of that $878 million cash value came from SC and more than $860 million came from other states. If there's no winner that money goes back to the other states, and there's not a snowball's chance in hell that those other states are going to pass up a chance to get that money back if somebody doesn't come forward and claim the prize. If SC doesn't follow the rules we'll see what's essentially the biggest lottery pool lawsuit ever.

                        Raven62's avatar - binary
                        New Jersey
                        United States
                        Member #17842
                        June 28, 2005
                        134733 Posts

                        All is not lost until the 180 day claiming deadline has past! (4/21/2019 Easter Sunday)

                        A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

                        Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

                        Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

                          hearsetrax's avatar - alien on_computer.jpg

                          United States
                          Member #52343
                          May 21, 2007
                          3299 Posts


                          we'll find out sooner or later and the results will probably be any one of the infinite lame excuses 


                            United States
                            Member #189422
                            April 19, 2018
                            31 Posts

                            No one in their right mind will loose out on 1.5 Billion dollars.


                            I'm waiting for April 19th 2019 that I heard was the deadline to see if anyone comes forward