The world welcomed a new instant multimillionaire (or multimillionaires) on Tuesday night. One ticket sold in South Carolina overcame drastic odds to win the largest-ever Mega Millions jackpot of more than $1.5 billion.
Facing odds of 1 in 302.6-million, the winning ticket finally ended weeks of anticipation after no winning tickets were sold for the lottery since July 24. That means Mega Millions will reset to its baseline $40 million jackpot for its next drawing on Friday. But, you still have a chance at another huge jackpot, as the estimated Powerball prize for Wednesday night's drawing is now up to a whopping $620 million.
The most recent Mega Millions prize had been thought to be the largest lottery jackpot in history, but the final tally fell slightly below the estimated $1.6 billion total in the end. That makes the jackpot the second-biggest ever.
Lottery winners choose between receiving their winnings in an annuity — with payments over 30 years — or the more popular option, a single lump sum payment in a smaller amount (that's the option Kevin O'Leary says you should choose). The lump sum on Tuesday's $1.54 billion jackpot is $877.8 million. If the as yet unnamed winner (or winners) chooses that option, the total haul will be about $491.7 million, after both federal and state taxes (a 7 percent income tax in South Carolina, plus the 37 percent federal rate), while other taxes may also apply.
Here is a look at the top lottery prizes ever won.