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

Young woman missing from Mukilteo found safe

She called her parents and told them she was at a museum in Seattle.

Mom and brother turn in suspect in Stanwood robberies

The man is suspected of robbing the same gas station twice, and apologizing to the clerk afterward.

Derrick “Wiz” Crawford, 22, is a suspect in the homicide of his roommate. (Edmonds Police Department)
Roommate suspected in Edmonds killing found hiding in closet

Police had been searching for him for 10 days before locating him at a house in Everett.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Navy to put filter in Coupeville’s contaminated water system

Chemicals from firefighting foam was found in the town’s drinking water.

Officials to test sanity of suspect in Everett crime spree

He allegedly tried to rob and clobber a transit worker, then fled and struggled with police.

Katharine Graham, then CEO and chairwoman of the board of The Washington Post Co., looks over a copy of The Daily Herald with Larry Hanson, then The Herald’s publisher, during her visit to Everett on Sept. 20, 1984. The Washington Post Co. owned The Herald from 1978 until 2013. (Herald archives)
Everett’s brush with Katharine Graham, leader of ‘The Post’

Retired Herald publisher Larry Hanson recalls The Washington Post publisher’s visits.

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Families seek to change wrongful death law

A bill would allow or parents or siblings who wish to pursue a suit for an unmarried, childless adult.

Most Read