Florida lottery winner claims $1.6 billion prize, but identity still secret

(Reuters) - The second-largest lottery winner in U.S. history has come forward to claim the $1.6 billion prize, but the person's identity may remain a secret for another 90 days, the Florida Lottery said on Wednesday.

The Mega Millions jackpot was claimed on Monday, seven weeks after the Aug. 8 drawing, Florida Lottery said in a statement. Florida is one of 45 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands to participate in Mega Millions.

The lottery went for 31 twice-weekly drawings without a winner until a ticket buyer at a Publix supermarket in Neptune Beach, about 15 miles (24 km) east of Jacksonville, matched all six numbers.

Mega Millions said the $1.602 jackpot was the largest in its history, topping a $1.537 billion prize that was won in South Carolina in 2018.

That would rank it second behind the record set in the rival Powerball lottery, which was a $2.04 billion jackpot for a ticket sold in California in November 2022, according to Powerball's website.