The South Carolina woman who won the historic $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot has donated a chunk of the prize to charity, according to a statement from her lawyer.
“I do realize that such good fortune carries a tremendous social responsibility, and it gives me a unique opportunity to assist, support and contribute to charities and causes that are close to my heart,” the woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, said. Among the charities was a Red Cross relief fund for victims of the Alabama tornadoes.
After months of mystery following the Oct. 23 drawing, it was announced earlier in March that the winner had finally come forward to claim their spoils, the largest payout to a single person in U.S. history. The winner opted to take the lump sum of $878 million.
In the statement released by lawyer Jason Kurland Thursday, the winner, who is female, said she was driving on Highway 417 when she noticed signs for the jackpot and decided to stop at the KC Mart in Simpsonville to buy a ticket.
"She decided to take a chance and purchase a ticket, never once thinking she had the slightest chance to win," Kurland said in the statement. "After checking her ticket the morning after the drawing, she was in complete shock and disbelief.
"She stared motionless at the ticket for what felt like hours, then came the jumping and screams of joy."
She waited to claim the prize while researching lawyers who could help her, according to the statement.
Inside Edition previously spoke to Kurland, who advises big-bucks winners, about what to do if you hit it large.
“First thing you do is stay quiet," Kurland told Inside Edition. "Don't tell your friends, don't tell your family. You have a couple of weeks before you come forward to the world. You need that time to be in the right mindset.
"You don't need people knocking on your door asking for handouts before you even have the money," he added.
Kurland also said you should make sure you sign your winning ticket right away.
“If that's not signed and God forbid you lose it, and someone else signs it and brings it in, it's their ticket," he said.
The woman added in the statement that she hopes to "live a life of relative normalcy, free of fear."