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Lucky winner scoops world record-breaking $1.6bn US jackpot

The winning ticket was sold in South Carolina
A single ticket sold in South Carolina has scooped a world record-breaking $1.6bn (£1.2bn) jackpot in the US Mega Millions lottery.

The ticket matched all five numbers – 5, 28, 62, 65, 70 – and the Mega Ball 5 that were drawn on Tuesday night.

The winner – or winners if the ticket was purchased by a couple, family, or syndicate – will be given the choice of receiving an immediate cash payment of $904m (£698m) or the full prize over a 29-year period.

The win would place a single winner in the 1,477th slot in Forbes’ billionaire rich list.

This would put their net worth on a par with the likes of Ben Silbermann, co-founder and chief executive of Pinterest, and former NBA basketball star Michael Jordan.

Gordon Medenica, lead director of the Mega Millions Group, said: “The moment we’ve been waiting for finally arrived and we couldn’t be more excited.

“This is truly a historic occasion. We’re so happy for the winner, and we know the South Carolina Education Lottery can’t wait to meet the lucky ticket holder.”

It costs $2 (£1.50) to play the game but the odds of winning the grand prize are 302.5 million to one.

Lottery fever gripped the US as the jackpot snowballed since it was last won in July, when an 11-member pool of office workers in California won $543m (£420m at today’s rates).

The previous record for the largest US lottery prize was a $1.586bn (£1.226bn) jackpot for a Powerball draw in 2016.

An earlier Mega Millions record of $656m (£507m today) was drawn in March 2012 and the prize was shared by winners in Kansas, Illinois and Maryland.

Mega Millions is played in 44 states as well as Washington DC and the US Virgin Island

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