COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The South Carolina Education Lottery began as a campaign idea during the 1998 gubernatorial election and quickly gained traction.
It finally became law back in 2001. Once then-Governor Jim Hodges signed the bill, he had big plans for the lottery.
"Lottery tickets should be on sale this year," said Gov. Hodges. "I pledge all my energies to insure that we have the finest education lottery in the country."
From the start, the lottery was a hit. Money that was flowing over the border into Georgia, began staying in South Carolina. it wasn't long before South Carolina's students were reaping the benefits of the lottery's education dollars.
In August 2009, a South Carolinian hit the Powerball jackpot. Columbia native Solomon Jackson, Jr. won $260 million from the lottery, one of the biggest jackpots ever.
According to current lottery chairman Tim Madden, the lottery has had two years of billion dollar sales. That's meant more than $265 million in college scholarships for South Carolina students.