Columbia man escapes foreclosure with lottery win

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – A Columbia man two months away from foreclosure on his home has won $400,000 playing the Lottery.  His first act will be to pay off his mortgage.

"This is the best I've felt in a long time," the winner told lottery officials when he arrived with the winning ticket.

He moved to South Carolina from New Jersey 6 years ago in search of a peaceful, easy life.  Life hasn't been easy, though.  Unemployed for over a year and a half, the winner has been looking for work and trying to stay optimistic.

"My life has felt like a rainstorm, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong," he said. "There have been times I have prayed for work, but I've never prayed for a winning Cash 5 ticket, only a job."

But a Palmetto Cash 5 ticket with a $400,000 prize is what he got.  He matched all five numbers drawn Tuesday night (12, 20, 22, 25, and 27).  He said he always picks his own numbers, a combination of family birth dates, but the winning ticket was just a quick pick.  He paid the extra $1 for Power-Up which multiplied his winnings by "4" to $400,000.

After watching the televised lottery drawing, and writing down the numbers, he wasn't sure what he won, so he visited retailers all over Columbia checking to see if his numbers matched. The Lottery confirmed for him this morning he was the top prize winner.

"I'm in like Flynn," he said.

If his story sounds familiar, that's because it is.  A month ago, the Columbia winner heard on the news about a winner in South Carolina facing foreclosure.  That winner also won playing Palmetto Cash 5 and used the winnings to save his home.

"I was happy for that winner," he said.  "I never thought we would share such similar stories."

Every retailer that sells a claimed ticket of $10,000 or more earns a one percent retailer commission, capped at $50,000. Hess Mart #40374 in Columbia received $4,000.

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