COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – It’s a major milestone for the South Carolina Education Lottery – more than 200 people have won at least $1 million by playing the lottery.
The lottery celebrated its first millionaire 17 years ago when a winning Powerball ticket was sold with an $88 million jackpot in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
This month, the 201st millionaire was made when a woman purchased a Mega Millions ticket after casting her ballot in Beaufort. While she thought she only won $1,000, her husband looked at the ticket and disagreed.
“No, I think it’s more than that,” he said.
Lottery officials say she matched the first five numbers drawn on Friday to win $1 million. Because she spent the extra $1 for Megaplier, the prize was doubled to $2 million.
“The milestone is not only a win for the millionaires, but for the lottery retailers that sold the winning tickets and the State of South Carolina,” said state lottery officials on Monday.
Lottery millionaires in South Carolina have won more than $2.6 billion in prize money so far, with lottery retailers earning more than $2.5 million in commissions when the tickets were claimed.
The state benefited from more than $182 million in taxes withheld from those winnings.
Most millionaires, 78 of the 201, scratched their way to a $1 million prize, according to SCEL. They say 73 won playing Powerball. Mega Millions, Palmetto Cash 5, raffles and second-chance drawings combined to account for the rest.
Eight of the winners won multi-million-dollar jackpots.
Millionaires included, lottery players in South Carolina have won more than $13 billion in prizes since the games began in 2002.