Beaufort couple takes home $170,000 in lottery winnings

emoody@beaufortgazette.comMarch 29, 2012 

A Beaufort couple has exchanged a $10 ticket for a $170,000 check after discovering they won the S.C. Mega Millions lottery.

The couple won $250,000 in the March 20 drawing, minus 32 percent for taxes.

They didn't realize they won, however, until the husband opened the morning newspaper and read an article about a winning ticket sold at the Publix grocery store on Lady's Island, S.C. Education Lottery spokeswoman Holli Armstrong said.

He checked the quick-pick ticket, and the first five numbers of the first set of numbers matched the 1, 4, 6, 11, 14 and Mega Ball 34 drawn, Armstrong said.

The couple talked it over and decided to use the money to pay down debt and not tell anyone they won.

"It's not enough to do something nuts," the husband, who occasionally plays the lottery, said in a news release.

Publix, at 163 Sea Island Parkway, is receiving $2,500 for selling the winning ticket.

The odds of winning $250,000 in Mega Millions are 1 in 3,904,701, according to the S.C. Education Lottery.

The jackpot for today's drawing is $540 million. It has gone 18 weeks without a winner and is the largest jackpot in the history of the state's Mega Millions game. If the winner chooses a one-time payment, the take-home amount would be $389 million.

Proceeds from the lottery benefit South Carolina education programs.

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