A Columbia, S.C.-area man, who asked not to be publicly identified, danced around his kitchen and initially told only his dog when he checked his Powerball ticket last week and discovered he had the lucky $399.4 million winning number, lottery officials said Monday. Oddly enough, it was only the second time the man had ever played the lottery, he told state education lottery officials.
Buying the ticket was somewhat of a fluke. NBC reports that the man said he'd stopped for gas at a Lexington, South Carolina Murphy station, when his wife called and asked him to pick up hot dog buns. To his distress, they don't sell hot dog buns at that station, so on a whim, he bought $20 in lottery tickets instead.
South Carolina Education Lottery officials said the man was home alone Thursday when he checked his ticket when the winning numbers were announced: 7, 10, 22, 32, 35 and a Powerball of 19. It's the fourth biggest jackpot in Powerball history! Since the game's payouts get bigger and bigger, it's only the third largest one this year. Powerball jackpots have been increasing so quickly because the ticket price doubled to $2 in January and because California, the biggest state, joined in April.
The winners of the three bigger jackpots have chosen to identify themselves:
In May,an 84-year-old Gloria C. MacKenzie from Florida won the biggest Powerball jackpot in history — $590 million.
Then, in early August, three winners divided a $448 million prize. Sixteen Ocean County, N.J., employees, who called themselves the "Ocean's 16", who had all gone through Superstorm Sandy together bought one of them.
The biggest U.S. jackpot ever, a $656 million prize in March 2012, was won on Mega Millions. But the next four have all been Powerball drawings, which has led Mega Millions officials to offer more prizes to attract more players.
As news outlets waited for the winner to come forward, NBC published advice for big lottery winners: Lawyer up, take the lump sum, take a deep breath – and stay anonymous if you can.
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