COLUMBIA, SC (September 20, 2013) – While the nation waits for South Carolina’s nearly $400 million Powerball® jackpot winner to emerge, the Lottery has a message for the winner who is preparing for what will be a life changing event.
“We are thrilled for you, and can’t imagine what it must be like to wake up one morning $399.4 million richer, but before you come forward to claim the prize, sign the back of the ticket, secure the ticket in a safe location and seek council from a trusted financial planner, CPA, or lawyer,” voiced the Lottery’s Executive Director Paula Harper Bethea yesterday at a press conference announcing the fourth largest jackpot in Powerball® history had been hit in South Carolina.
The winner has 180 days to collect the state’s largest jackpot winning ticket sold at a Murphy USA on Augusta Rd. in Lexington.
One of the first decisions the winner must make is a choice between the cash option of approximately $223 million or the annuity, the full jackpot amount paid out in 30 payments over 29 years. This averages to $13 million a year.
“There will be plenty of time later to share this wonderful news with family and friends, but now is the time to put together a sound plan for how this money will be managed and budgeted so your life’s greatest goals can be accomplished,” said Bethea.
In 2009, the state’s last Powerball® jackpot winner, Solomon Jackson Jr., consulted with an attorney prior to cashing in his $259 million ticket. He elected to take the cash option and on the day he turned the ticket over said that his win marked a “beautiful day for education in South Carolina.” He’s since given millions of dollars to charities and the community in support of young people seeking an education. “Solomon is an ambassador for how to handle the pressure and responsibilities which come with this kind of life altering event,” said Bethea.
Until the winner comes forward, presents the ticket and the ticket is validated as the winning ticket –there is no winner to announce. Tickets can be presented at the Lottery’s Claims Center on Assembly St. in Columbia open Monday thru Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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