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A Winning Ticket In S.C. For $1.5 Billion, One Of Largest Jackpots In Lottery History

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Photo by Drew Angerer Getty Images

A man walks past a newsstand with advertisements for the Mega Millions lottery on Tuesday in New York City. The $1.537 billion Mega Millions winning lottery ticket was sold in South Carolina.

Updated 8:53 a.m. ET

A winning Mega Millions ticket for a $1.537 billion lottery — one of the largest ever — was sold in South Carolina, according to the South Carolina Education State Lottery.

The stunning lump-sum cash payout, should the lucky winner choose to take it? Nearly $878 million.

The drawing was at 11 p.m. ET Tuesday, and the odds of holding the winning ticket were about 1 in 302 million.

The winning numbers were 28-70-5-62-65, with a Mega Ball of 5.

The California Lottery said it sold 8 tickets matching 5 of the 6 numbers. Those ticket holders will win "a still undetermined amount of prize money," it said. Also, the Texas Lottery said a $3 million winning ticket for Tuesday's drawing was sold in San Antonio.

There could be more lucky ticket holders — not all states have reported if they sold any partially winning ticket numbers.

A spokeswoman for the Maryland Lottery said the jackpot came in just shy of the record $1.586 billion Powerball prize in January 2016, according to The Associated Press.

"Estimates are based on historical patterns," Carol Gentry told the AP in a phone interview Wednesday. "The jackpot's been rolling since it was hit in July in California, but there are few precedents for a jackpot of this size. Typically, about 70 percent of sales occur on the drawing day, so forecasting precise numbers in advance can be difficult. That's why we always use the term estimate."

The prize rose to $1.5 billion after no one won the jackpot in a drawing last Friday. Mega Millions lead director Gordon Medenica told NPR that 280 million tickets were sold for the drawing that day.

As for who holds that golden ticket, the winner may never be known, as South Carolina is among several states that allow winners to remain anonymous.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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