$1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot remains unclaimed

Posted at 9:32 PM, Nov 13, 2018

Someone out there is sitting on a lottery ticket worth more than $1.5 billion, but has not stepped forward to claim the prize, according to ABC News

On Oct. 23, a single winning ticket was purchased in South Carolina for the largest Mega Millions jackpot in history. The ticket is also the single most valuable lottery ticket in US history. 

"We have not heard that the winner in South Carolina has come forward," Mega Millions administrator Seth Elkin told ABC News. 

The winner has 180 days to claim the prize. That means the winning ticket does not have to be claimed until April. 

If no winner comes forward, each participating state in the Mega Millions game will get back all the money that state contributed to the unclaimed jackpot, the lottery says on its website. 

The amount of money that goes unclaimed in state lottery programs is quite staggering. Nearly $3 billion went unclaimed during a 12-month period from late 2016 through early 2017, lottery expert Brett Jacobson told CNN. 

While most of the unclaimed lottery winnings are from smaller prizes, there have been a few notable examples of massive jackpots going unclaimed. 

The largest known unclaimed lottery ticket was sold in Georgia in 2011 worth $77 million. 

Elkin told ABC News that it would be prudent for whoever is holding the winning lottery ticket to sign it, keep it somewhere safe and consult a financial advisor before claiming the prize.