Record $1.5 billion lottery winner let someone else go before them in the queue
After nearly five months of remaining in the shadows, the winner of a record $1.5 billion lottery jackpot in South Carolina finally emerged to take their prize. It's been reported that the person in question let someone else go before them in the queue before buying the ticket that would earn them a fortune.
According to a statement from the South Carolina National Lottery Association, the lottery winner has chosen to remain anonymous, waiving the full sum as a result and earning themselves a one-time cash payment of $877,784,124.
31 percent of this sum will go to taxes, with seven percent for the state and a further 24 for federal, but the commission revealed that it was the largest payout to a single winner in American history. “We are delighted that the winner is a South Carolinian and has come forward to claim this remarkable prize," said Executive Director Hogan Brown in a statement.
"We respect the winner’s decision to remain anonymous, and we will honor the winner’s wishes," Brown said of he winner, whose gender the commission will not reveal as part of the agreement. They bought their Quick Pick ticket on a random whim according to lottery officials, and they also revealed that they let someone else go before them in the queue before buying the incredibly valuable lottery ticket.
"A simple act of kindness led to an amazing outcome," explained the commission statement, while also revealing that if the winner hadn't come forward before the deadline of April 19, several institutions would have missed out on a huge payday.
KC Mart in Simpsonville, the grocery store where the lottery ticket was bought, would have missed out on $50,000 while the state of South Carolina would not have received a lump sum of $61 million. But in remaining anonymous, it's easy to feel as if the winner has dodged a bullet.
They're far from the only person to remain anonymous in order to collect their prize, and some people have gone to extreme (and hilarious) measures in order to keep their identity a secret.
Just last month, after hitting the jackpot in Jamaica, a man known only as A Campbell showed up in a mask from the movie Scream to claim £9 million in winnings.
"My head hurt me for three days because I was thinking so much. [Wondering] if what I’ve been longing for really come true. I had a belly ache for two weeks, sometimes I feel so much pain I forgot that I had won," revealed a still-masked Campbell to local news outlets.
Back in 2018, another Jamaican person decided to hide their identity to pick up their winnings - N Gray showed up in a mask of the winking emoji, pocketing herself around £1 million in the process.
"In other markets, they don't necessarily do it, but here I think they opt to do it to keep themselves safe," mused Simone Clarke-Cooper, the lottery organiser's assistant vice-president of group corporate communications, in trying to explain why so many winners show up in masks.