It took some arm-twisting from a friend, but a Hilton Head Island man has won $200,000 playing the "Aces High" scratch-off game from the S.C. Education Lottery.
The winner, whose identity was not released, cleared about $136,000 after state and federal taxes from the $10 ticket, according to lottery spokeswoman Holli Armstrong. The man and his fiancè collected the winnings Friday in Columbia.
According to a news release from the Education Lottery, the man almost passed on the ticket, which was the last Aces High left at the Palmetto Bay Road Enmark Station.
Instead, a friend persuaded him to buy it.
"Normally I'm stubborn, but for some reason I agreed and bought that ticket," he said, according to the release.
After scratching the ticket outside the store, the winner initially thought the $200,000 prize was some kind of joke. It wasn't, and his friend wasn't laughing.
"I hope he doesn't feel too bad, because he could have bought the ticket," the winner said.
Armstrong said the winner "felt fabulous" when he collected his prize. He planned to use his winnings to "put some smiles on his family's faces."
The winner said he would "probably do something nice" for the friend who convinced him to buy the ticket, according to Armstrong.
Odds of winning the $200,000 prize in the Aces High game are about 1 in 462,857, according to the lottery. As of Monday, there are four top prize tickets remaining.
About six weeks ago, a Bluffton couple won $200,000 playing the "$200,000 Hot Streak" game, which has similar odds.
The Enmark station on Hilton Head Island received a $2,000 commission for selling the winning ticket.
Since 2002, the lottery has awarded more than a million college scholarships and grants to South Carolina students, according to the release. About $2.8 billion in lottery proceeds have been used to support educational programs in the state.