A South Carolina woman who won one of the largest lotteries in history claimed her prize earlier this month and chose to donate part of it to charity.
The winning number for a $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot was drawn Oct. 23, 2018, but for months no one stepped forward to claim the prize. In January, Gordon Medenica, lead director for the Mega Millions consortium, said he wasn’t surprised no one claimed it: When the prize is substantial, winners often consult lawyers and financial advisers first. The winner, who chose to remain anonymous, had until 5 p.m. on April 19 to come forward.
“I hired a team with experience handling large jackpot winners,” the winner said in a March 14 statement released by the Rivkin Radler law firm. “I want to make sure I make all of the right decisions, which is why I have taken this amount of time to collect my prize.”
The woman opted to take home the lump sum of $878 million instead of receiving $1.5 billion over 30 years. It was the largest payout to a single lottery winner in U.S. history. Her lawyer, Jason Kurland, said she would donate to several charities as well as Hurricane Florence relief and tornado relief in Alabama, though he didn’t disclose the amount of the donations.
“I do realize that such good fortune carries a tremendous social responsibility, and it gives me a unique opportunity to assist, support, and contribute to charities and causes that are close to my heart,” the winner said. —C.C.