$1.5B jackpot winner reflects on 'act of kindness' before buying winning ticket

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina lottery says a single winner has stepped forward to claim the $1.5 billion Jackpot from a drawing last October.

A lottery commission statement said the person submitting the claim for what was the second-largest lottery in U.S. history has chosen to remain anonymous.

It adds that the winner has chosen the cash option, a one-time payment of nearly $878,000,000 -- which is the largest jackpot payout to a single winner in United States history.

The winning ticket was sold between Oct. 20 and Oct. 23 last year at a convenience store in Simpsonville, a suburb of the South Carolina city of Greenville.

For months, South Carolina residents had speculated on why the winner hadn't stepped forward. The winner had until April 19 to claim the prize.

While the winner didn't share their name, they did share a story.

They let another customer cut in line in front of them as "a simple act of kindness" to buy a Mega Millions ticket. Then, they bought a Quick-Pick.

”I must say, here in Simpsonville, when it comes to something of that magnitude, I feel like everyone is gonna surround that person and be protective of their identity if they do know who it is,” said Mayor Janice Curtis.

Chirag Patel, who owns the KC Mart in Simpsonville, said it's good for whoever won and good for him. That's because he'll get $50,000 as a commission for selling the winning ticket.

He'll spend the money on renovations he's already made to that store and to other convenience stores he owns.

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