Skip to main content
Advertising

Originally published September 19, 2013 at 6:41 AM | Page modified September 19, 2013 at 3:34 PM

  • Share:
             
  • Comments (3)
  • Print

Holder of lucky Powerball ticket a mystery in SC

When they learned that a Powerball ticket worth $400 million had been sold at a gas station across the road, workers at Econ-O-Bug Termite and Pest Control said they had a few big, wishful dreams. But they didn't have the prized ticket in their hands, so they came to work as usual Thursday in their yellow bug-battling vans.

Associated Press

Most Popular Comments
Hide / Show comments
Well, if the news is correct, we'll never boast a Powerball winner from WA state, as... MORE
First SC takes the 787 Line, now the $400M Powerball, what in the heck is next? MORE
You can hold me to this promise. When I hit the Powerball I'm giving half my winnings... MORE

advertising

LEXINGTON, S.C. —

When they learned that a Powerball ticket worth $400 million had been sold at a gas station across the road, workers at Econ-O-Bug Termite and Pest Control said they had a few big, wishful dreams. But they didn't have the prized ticket in their hands, so they came to work as usual Thursday in their yellow bug-battling vans.

"I sure didn't win it," said Jason Vannest, 32, of Lexington. He looked wistfully out the window at the buzz of activity at the Murphy USA gas station. "I'd be on vacation if I had, that's for sure."

Colleague Eddie Terrell chimed in that he had his destination all picked out, even though he wasn't the winner in Wednesday night's drawing of the fourth-largest prize in Powerball history.

"I'd be on a flight to Ireland right now," said Terrell, 50. He said he purchased his Powerball ticket at another store, but he was still curious. "I just want to know who won it," he said.

But the winner didn't attend Thursday's news conference at the gas station, and his or her identity remained a mystery even to lottery officials.

"We have no idea who holds this ticket," Lottery Executive Director Paula Harper Bethea said. She said winners in South Carolina do not have to come forward publicly.

Bethea advised the winner to sign the back of the ticket, put it in a safe place, and consult financial and legal advice. He or she has 180 days to come forward to lottery officials, Bethea added.

The lucky ticket was one of 356 sold Wednesday afternoon at the gas station, nestled just off 1-20 west of Columbia. On Thursday, dozens of reporters and rows of television satellite trucks gathered at the station, along a road lined with fast-food restaurants, meat processing stores and a red barn where produce and homemade jellies are sold.

Nearby billboards played on the lottery news: "Feeling lucky? Shop at Murphys. Feeling hungry? Come on in!" "Hey Powerball winner, have you tried our pepper-coated bacon?"

Bethea said the winner chose a "quick pick" ticket, letting the computer select the numbers: 7-10-22-32-35, with the Powerball of 19.

The actual value is $399.4 million, with a direct cash option of $233 million. It's the largest Powerball winning ticket sold in South Carolina. In May, a Florida widow won the biggest Powerball jackpot in history - a $590 million pot.

Store manager Keith Wedmore said he'd encouraged some people to buy a ticket Wednesday afternoon and that he hoped the winner was one of those he'd talked into spending their money.

"It was steady all day long," Wedmore said. "We are a busy store."

He noted that many visitors come from out of state, since I-20 runs from central South Carolina all the way to Texas. "We draw all sorts of traffic off the interstate," he said. Bethea said that if the winner lives elsewhere, he or she will have to return to South Carolina to show officials the ticket.

Customer Donna Taylor of Columbia, 42, said she purchased Powerball tickets, but it wasn't her lucky day.

"I didn't win. I'm frustrated," said Taylor, who runs a cleaning service. "I think I'm going to go right in there and buy another ticket today."

Leo Hinnant, 48, of Columbia, leaned on his pickup and laughed at all the fuss as he filled his tank.

"It's high time it's come close to home, but I want to see who the winner is," he said.

---

Susanne M. Schafer can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/susannemarieap.

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Where in the world are Seahawks fans?

Where in the world are Seahawks fans?

Put your marker on The Seattle Times interactive map and share your fan story.

Advertising

Partner Video

Advertising


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►