COLUMBIA, SC (July 25, 2012) – Lottery tickets remind Jimmy and Caroline Johnson of their wedding day. So it seems fitting the couple sells tickets at B&B Pawn Shop on S. Main St. in Anderson, a store they have run now for seven years.
Between the two owners, Caroline is the real lottery fan. Jimmy jokes he became a lottery retailer several years back to save him from dealing with traffic.
Back when they were dating, and before South Carolina had a Lottery, it was a tradition of theirs that whenever Jimmy would go away on business he would come home with scratch-offs for Caroline. She liked the gifts so much, they gave him an idea.
In March of 2002, Jimmy proposed to Caroline with lottery tickets.
Jimmy was leaving the next day on a business trip, so he decided to surprise Caroline with tickets before he left.
“He handed me this stack of lottery tickets, and we went outside to sit in the swing where I wouldn’t make a mess scratching them,” Caroline recalls.
Unbeknownst to her, Jimmy had hidden a gag lottery ticket he ordered online between all the South Carolina Education Lottery tickets.
Using a quarter, Caroline scratched through the tickets winning a bit here and there, pausing when a ticket revealed three smiley faces and a prize reading, “Will you marry me?”
“I thought it was a joke,” she said.
Jimmy kept asking, “What does it say?”
Caroline answered, “Will you marry me?”
“Yes,” Jimmy said.
Caroline looked up to find Jimmy holding a diamond ring.
“Now he tells everyone I asked him to marry me,” she laughs.
Caroline still has the quarter and the tickets she scratched that afternoon. She keeps the mementoes inside the pages of a book on Savannah, GA. When Jimmy left on business the following day, Caroline went to Savannah to stay with Jimmy’s mom. The couple’s proposal story was a big hit with their family and friends.
Two years later in May of 2004 the couple said their I do’s where they first met on the banks of Lake Hartwell.
Jimmy was introduced to Caroline when he was an auctioneer and she had just earned her real estate license. Caroline was showing a client, a friend of her father’s, a lot Jimmy was auctioning. They came to terms on the lot and, as fate would have it, their reception took place in that very spot. Jimmy bought the lake lot next door where the wedding was held.
“It was like a big party with a little ceremony,” Jimmy said.
It was quite an affair. Guests were treated to live music, caviar, shrimp, bottled cokes, and, of course, lottery tickets.
Tables held place cards telling how Jimmy proposed then after their first dance, $1 South Carolina Education Lottery tickets were passed out as favors.
“Guests were screaming ‘I won’ and it was so funny,” said Caroline, who scratched the leftover tickets on their honeymoon in Charleston.
These days Caroline sells more lottery tickets than she scratches. The biggest lottery winner so far at B&B won $500. It wasn’t Caroline, but she’s not complaining.
“The biggest Lottery I ever won was Jimmy,” Caroline said.
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