Since moving to the Lowcountry six years ago, Sun City Hilton Head resident William Wright has purchased a lottery ticket every day.
It's a routine that followed him from New York City, where he lived before retiring. On Friday, that lifelong pastime paid off in a big way -- Wright won $200,000 playing the S.C. Education Lottery's Palmetto Cash 5.
Wright hit all five numbers to win $100,000, and a "Power-Up" he purchased for an extra dollar doubled his payout to $200,000. After taxes, Wright said, he's in line to collect $136,000 from his winning ticket.
"It's a nice payday," he said. "I'm not complaining."
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Despite the big win, Wright said he has no plans for big purchases. He said he recently purchased a new car, and doesn't have much desire to travel after spending his career traveling and vacationing.
"I love it here in Sun City," he said. "I'm just going to stay here and spend it all in Bluffton," he said.
Wright, as he always does, purchased his ticket from the Enmark gas station on Commerce Place East in Bluffton, off S.C. 170 near Sun City. The winning numbers were generated by the store's computer; Wright said he does not play special numbers on his tickets.
A few months before Friday's win, he won $300 on a lottery ticket, but a "Power-Up" he purchased boosted that amount to $1,500. Two weeks later, he won $600.
Wright said he never thought he'd hit such a big win, but he typically spends the extra $1 to boost the potential payout. The odds of winning $200,000 playing Palmetto Cash 5 are 1 in 1,003,884, according to the lottery.
Wright found out he won almost immediately after the numbers were posted online at 8 p.m. June 6.
"I saw it and said, 'Holy Toledo.' It made for a nice day. I called the people at the Enmark to tell them, and they were thrilled."
Wright and Enmark employees have developed a friendly rapport during his repeated trips to purchase lottery tickets. He said the employees were "absolutely charming" and even offered to drive him to Columbia to claim his winnings.
"He was really excited," said Amanda Wrisley, the assistant manager who sold Wright the winning ticket. "Bill is one of our favorite people."
For selling the ticket, the store received a commission of $2,000, according to the lottery.
Although Wright hit the jackpot, he won't stop buying lottery tickets. Wright said playing the lottery is a pastime that's followed him all his life. In New York, he won two $5,000 lottery prizes and numerous smaller amounts on scratch-off tickets.
"Thank God there isn't a casino here," Wright joked. "I'd be there every day."
Follow reporter Matt McNab at twitter.com/IPBG_Matt.
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