A South Carolina resident has come forward to claim the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot from last October, the largest payout to a single winner in U.S. history.
The winner has decided to keep their identity a secret. That's wise, experts say.
While coming into money can be exhilarating, youmight not want to "shout this life-changing news from the rooftops," says Rich Ramassini, a certified financial planner and the director of strategy and sales performance at PNC Investments.
Instead, keep a low profile and tell only a few people you're close to, if that's possible, because "money can change, disrupt or end relationships," Ramassini says. "It can lead to you hearing from relatives or friends you never knew existed."
Tomorrow Rodriguez, who won $1 million on "Deal or No Deal" in 2008, says she still hesitates to talk about her winnings for that reason: "The worst part of winning is sometimes you find the people closest to you treat you a little different," she says.
"They say you've changed, but it's not that you've changed — they've changed when they can't get what they want."
And the New Hampshire womanwho won the $559.7 million Powerball jackpot in 2018 actually went to court for — and won — the right to remain unnamed.
It's likely she would have been "subject to an alarming amount of harassment, solicitation and other unwanted communications" had her identity been made public, the judge wrote in his ruling.
Luckily for this Mega Millions winner, South Carolina is one of a handful of states that allow lottery winners to remain anonymous.