SIMPSONVILLE, SC (WIS) - The town of Simpsonville may never be the same again.
Last October, the KC Mart on Lee Vaughn Road sold a $1.5 billion Mega Millions lottery ticket. On Monday, the lottery winner claimed their prize and elected to remain anonymous.
“I’m glad he did finally come forward because we were all puzzled,” said Clyde Quarels, who frequents the gas station.
That winner’s life changed last October, but it also put the city of 22,000 people on the map.
“People across the country now know about Simpsonville, South Carolina,” said Simpsonville Mayor Janice Curtis. “They know where we are and they know we sell lottery tickets.”
The anonymous lottery winner is taking the lump sum of $878 million dollars.
“We’re all winners here in South Carolina,” Curtis said.
South Carolina is receiving $61 million in income taxes from the lottery winner. Lawmakers putting together next year’s budget say the lottery winner coming forward couldn’t have happened at a better time.
There’s a proposal that would give taxpayers a $50 rebate, but that still needs to be decided.
“This is $61 million we were not anticipating and just falls from the Heavens. Yes, we’re all winners in South Carolina,” Curtis said.
At the KC Mart, things have changed since October.
“The business has picked up since we sold the winning ticket,” Himanshi Patel said.
She said they have an increase in lottery sales at the store.
“Everyone thinks it’s a lucky spot,” Patel said.
People are trying to cash in on that luck, But maybe it wasn’t luck at all. The South Carolina Education Lottery Commission said the person even allowed a fellow customer to make a Mega Millions lottery ticket purchase in front of them while in line at the store.
“He’s got good character,” Quarels said. “You let someone in front of you and you win, that’s good character.”
If the lottery winner had not come forward by April 21, the state of South Carolina would have only gotten $11 million instead of $61 million.
Since the inception of the Lottery on Jan. 7, 2002, the General Assembly has appropriated from the Education Lottery Account more than $5.4 billion through Fiscal Year 2018-2019. Lottery funds have been used to support higher education programs and scholarships, K-12 programs and other community education programs.