S. Carolina ticket wins $400 million Powerball

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.

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.

More in Local News

Fatal car crash reported on Highway 92 near Lake Stevens

The 3 p.m. accident and investigation stopped traffic in both directions near Machias Road.

Firefighters come to the rescue and give mom new stroller

Donations to the Good Neighbor Program covered the $143.20 cost.

Mayor tries new tactic to curb fire department overtime

Stephanson says an engine won’t go into service when the only available staff would be on overtime.

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Paine Field fire chief will be allowed to retire

In his letter, the airport director noted Jeff Bohnet was leaving while under investigation.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

County plans to sue to recoup costs from ballot drop-box law

A quarter-million dollars could be spent adding 19 ballot boxes in rural areas.

County frees up $1.6M for Everett’s low-barrier housing

The plan appears on track for the City Council to transfer land ahead of next month’s groundbreaking.

Jamie Copeland is a senior at Cedar Park Christian Schools’ Mountlake Terrace campus. She is a basketball player, ASB president, cheerleader and, of course, a Lion. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Cedar Park Christian senior stepping up to new challenges

Jamie Copeland’s academics include STEM studies, leadership, ASB activities, honor society.

Most Read