The lottery winner of a $400 million Powerball jackpot cashes his ticket Monday in South Carolina, but he told lottery officials that he wants to remain anonymous, so now there are few details about the mysterious gentlemen from Columbia.
He stopped to get gas at a Murphy Express gas station in Columbia the day of the drawing last Wednesday and his wife told him to buy some hot dog buns. The store didn’t sell buns, but after seeing the $400 million prize advertised, he tried his luck using a $20 bill.
It was only his second time playing the lottery, he told officials.
The winner checked his ticket Thursday at his home and realized he was a winner. He told the only creature around, his dog, according to the South Carolina lottery.
His dog, his wife and lottery officials may be the only people who know the winner for certain. South Carolina is one of only six Powerball states that allow winners to refuse to let their identities to be released. The others are Delaware, Kansas, Maryland, North Dakota and Ohio.
Lottery officials aren’t saying whether the man took the $399.4 million payout over 30 years or the direct cash option of $233 million. The jackpot was the fourth largest in the history of the game. The South Carolina man was the only winner.
The winning numbers were 7-10-22-32-35, with the Powerball of 19, and were selected by the computer as a “quick-pick.”
The winning ticket was bought at a Murphy Express just off Interstate 20 west of Columbia, the state capital. The store will get a $50,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
State officials said the winner will pay South Carolina about $15 million in taxes.
The last big Powerball winner in South Carolina also bought his winning ticket at a Murphy Express, but on the other side of Columbia.
The Rev. Solomon Jackson Jr. won nearly $260 million in 2009. He has been active in the community, giving millions of dollars for education around the state. Two days after last week’s big jackpot drawing, Jackson gave $500,000 to purchase two new 56-seat luxury coach buses for Benedict College in Columbia.
You just never know unless you play the jackpot.