South Carolina, where someone won $1.5 billion in the Mega Millions, is among the states where lottery winners can stay anonymous

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Each jackpot starts at $40 million, but how does it grow to hundreds of millions or more? (Julie Jacobson/AP Photo)

The winner of the near-record-breaking Mega Millions jackpot can choose to remain anonymous thanks to the laws of the state the ticket was purchased in.

The single ticket matching Tuesday night's jackpot, estimated to be worth $1.537 billion, was sold in Simpsonville, South Carolina. This is one state where the winner does not have to disclose their identity in order to claim the jackpot.

"Our board has a policy to protect the winner because of all the risk associated with having that much money," South Carolina Education Lottery Director William Hogan Brown told Good Morning America.

Most states have laws that allow the lottery games to make the winners' names public. In some of those states, you can claim the prize through a trust to avoid publicity.

When it comes to the jackpot, winners are allowed to remain anonymous in eight states:

Delaware
Georgia
Kansas
Maryland
North Dakota
Ohio
South Carolina
Texas

Some states only allow you to remain anonymous in special circumstances. In Michigan, for instance, you can remain anonymous if you win a game other than the Powerball or the Mega Millions. If you win more than $600 in Arizona, you can choose to remain anonymous for 90 days before your name becomes public record.

Experts recommend staying anonymous if you buy your ticket in a state where that's allowed.

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The Associated Press and ABC News contributed to this report.
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financeu.s. & worldlotterymega millions