A small piece of white paper sold at a convenience store in South Carolina is now worth more than $1.5 billion.

Lottery officials in the southern state say a ticket that matched all six numbers of Tuesday’s Mega Millions drawing was sold at the KC Mart shop in Simpsonville. The town has a population of about 18,000 people.

The world may never know who the winner is, however. South Carolina is one of eight American states that does not make lottery winners publicly identify themselves.

The South Carolina Education Lottery tweeted, “Our message to the $1.5 BILLION #MegaMillions jackpot winner: Sign the back of the ticket, place the ticket in a safe location, speak with a trusted advisor and call the lottery...Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment!”

The ticket is worth about $877.8 million if the winner chooses to accept a one-time payment. That is what most lottery winners do. The other choice is to collect the full amount in yearly payments over the next 29 years.​

Earlier estimates had said this week’s Mega Millions game would be the largest lottery jackpot ever. However, the actual number ended up being just under a record set in 2016.

Still, the jackpot was huge. In fact, it is 20 percent of South Carolina’s yearly budget. And it is enough money for the winner to give more than $300 to each of South Carolina’s 5 million people.

Exercise 1


Read the following vocabulary with your teacher.

convenience store (n.) - a small store that is open for many hours of the day

lottery (n.) /ˈlɑːtəri/ - a way of raising money for a government, charity, etc., in which many tickets are sold and a few of the tickets are chosen by chance to win prizes

  • Which states have lotteries?

drawing (n.) /ˈdrɑːɪŋ/ - an act of choosing something (such as a winning ticket) from a group without knowing which one you are choosing

  • Who won the (prize) drawing?

jackpot (n.) /ˈʤækˌpɑːt/ - a usually large amount of money won in a game of chance

  • The lottery jackpot is up to one million dollars.



Exercise 2


Answer these questions about the article.

  1. What was the main money prize?
  2. How much people live in Simpsonville?
  3. When is the record from?
  4. How can the person collect the prize money?


Exercise 3


Please give your opinion on the following statement and give your reasons behind it.

  • Lottery is a good investment, even if you never win anything


Exercise 4 


Have a discussion on following questions.

  1. Do you play lottery?
  2. Do you gamble sometimes?
  3. Does it have something to do with luck?
  4. Would you try it sometimes?
  5. If you gamble, what is your favourite game?



This lesson is based on a news article originally published by learningenglish.voanews.