Mystery winner claims $1.58 billion US lottery jackpot
The Florida Lottery said the winner of the $1.58 billion jackpot, the second-largest in U.S. history has come forward to claim the prize.
But the person’s identity may remain a secret for another 90 days..
The Mega Millions jackpot was claimed on Monday, seven weeks after the Aug. 8 drawing, Florida Lottery said in a statement.
Florida is one of 45 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands to participate in Mega Millions.
The lottery went for 31 twice-weekly drawings without a winner until a ticket buyer at a Publix supermarket in Neptune Beach, about 15 miles (24 km) east of Jacksonville, matched all six numbers.
Mega Millions said the $1.58 billion jackpot was the largest in its history, topping a $1.537 billion prize that was won in South Carolina in 2018.
That would rank it second behind the record set in the rival Powerball lottery, which was a $2.04 billion jackpot for a ticket sold in California in November 2022, according to Powerball’s website.
The Florida Mega Millions winner will have the option of claiming the full amount paid in a 30-year annuity or taking a lump sum of $794.2 million cash, according to the Mega Millions website. Winnings are taxed.
Under Florida law, lottery winners who claim prizes of $250,000 or more do not have to reveal their identities publicly until 90 days after the prize is claimed.
For a $2 ticket, the odds of winning the jackpot are about 1 in 300 million.