JAN 24 — A single winning ticket for a Mega Millions lottery jackpot of US$1.05 billion, the third-largest lottery jackpot in US history, was sold at a supermarket in a suburb of Detroit, lottery organizers said yesterday.

The holder of the winning ticket, which would have cost US$2 to buy, had yet to contact the lottery as of yesterday morning following Friday night’s draw, Mega Millions said in its statement. The ticket was bought at a Kroger supermarket in Novi, Michigan, the statement said.

The winner can opt to receive the jackpot in annual payouts over 29 years, though 24 per cent must be given in taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, or ask instead for a one-time cash payout of US$739, receiving US$530 million after taxes.

The jackpot grew over four months after 36 previous draws produced no winner.

The largest ever lottery jackpot was the US$1.586 billion amassed in January 2016 in Powerball, the country’s other multi-state lottery.

In October 2018, the Mega Millions jackpot reached US$1.537 billion.

Mega Millions tickets are sold in grocery stores and gas stations in 45 US states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, which split the proceeds. — Reuters