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$1.5 billion Mega Millions winner sharing part of jackpot with charities

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 3/15/2019 Gabe Cavallaro
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GREENVILLE, S.C. – The winner of the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot has been identified as a "she," but is still choosing to remain anonymous, according to a press release from her attorney.

The anonymous winner is a South Carolinian who was visiting Greenville from out of town and chose to take a "scenic drive during some down time" when she passed a KC Mart in Simpsonville. She decided to purchase a ticket there after the sign advertising the huge jackpot "caught her eye," the release said.

When she realized she was the winner the morning after the drawing, "complete shock and disbelief" set in and she jumped in joy, the release said.

Her prize, which she opted to take as a one-time payment of $877,784,124, is the largest ever won by a single person.

More: Winner of $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot has finally come forward

After drawing the ticket in Simpsonville last October, it wasn't until a few weeks ago that the winner claimed her prize, sparking widespread speculation over why a winner hadn't come forward. According to the release, the anonymous woman was researching how to remain anonymous and manage her sudden influx of cash. 

She is donating some of her winnings to the city of Simpsonville Arts Center, among other charities to "show her appreciation" to South Carolina and Simpsonville, according to the release. The others include: 

  • Ronald McDonald House of Charities of Columbia.
  • One S.C. Fund – for Hurricane Florence Relief
  • In The Middle, Columbia.
  • American Red Cross Alabama Region - Tornado Relief Fund.

"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.

The owner of the KC Mart is also a winner, getting a $50,000 bonus after the winning ticket was claimed.

The anonymous winner is being represented by New York attorney Jason Kurland, who specializes in lottery winning, according to his firm's website.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on The Greenville News: $1.5 billion Mega Millions winner sharing part of jackpot with charities

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