The South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL), commonly called the South Carolina lottery, is one of the USA’s newest lottery states, having begun in 2002. South Carolina Lottery is a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), best known for Powerball and as with most US lotteries, it participated in the lottery expansion, adding Mega Millions on 31st January 2010.
South Carolina lottery games consist of South Carolina Pick 3, Pick 4, Palmetto Cash 5 and a myriad of scratch card games.
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South Carolina Mega Millions
South Carolina Mega Millions is a big multi-state jackpot game that begins at a fantastic $15,000,000 and can grow bigger with rollovers. Draws take place every Tuesday and Friday night. Odds of winning the South Carolina Mega Millions jackpot are one in 175.5 million and overall odds of winning any prize are one in 40. You can find all the winning numbers for these draws at lottery24.com.
South Carolina Powerball
South Carolina Powerball is also played twice weekly; every Wednesday and Saturday night. Powerball has gigantic jackpots starting at $40,000,000 which increase in the event of a rollover. It is played by choosing five white balls from 1 to 59 and one red Powerball from 1 to 35, or you can opt for a Quick Pick (Lucky Dip) for random numbers. Odds of winning the enormous South Carolina Powerball jackpot prize are one in 176 million and the overall odds of winning any prize are one in 32. Lottery24.com has all the Powerball winning numbers as well.
South Carolina Pick 3
Pick 3 is a three-digit number game in the South Carolina Education Lottery. South Carolina Pick 3 draws are held every evening at 6.59pm and shown live on local television stations. Midday South Carolina Pick 3 draws are not televised and are held Monday to Saturday afternoons at 12.59pm.
South Carolina Education Lottery also offers Pick 4, a four-digit game with four different play types providing various ways to win. Players can chose to play a straight ticket to match numbers in the exact order drawn, a box ticket to match numbers drawn in any order or a straight/box choice to cover both possibilities. Players can also buy a combo ticket equal to 4, 6, 12, or 24 straight plays. South Carolina Pick 4 draws are held every evening, midday draws are held Monday to Saturday although no midday draws are held on Sundays or Christmas Day.
Palmetto Cash 5
Palmetto Cash 5 is a five number game from the South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL) which offers four ways to win prizes from $1 to $100,000. Players select numbers between 1 and 38 and have the option to multiply all prizes, by the POWER-UP number drawn, 2, 3, 4 or 5 times. Draws are held seven days a week.
Lucky For Life became available from the South Carolina Lottery from 29th January 2015, joining a number of other states. Draws are held on Mondays and Thursdays. Players select five numbers from 1 to 48 and then choose a "Lucky Ball" from 1 to 18. A Quick Pick (Lucky Dip) is also available for random numbers. Matching all six numbers wins $1,000 a day for life, or winners can take a one-time cash payment.
Matching the first five numbers drawn wins $25,000 a year for life.
Odds of winning the top prize are about 1 in 30.8 million and overall odds of winning are 1 in 7.77.
Retiree Solomon Jackson Jr from South Carolina, claimed a $259.9 million jackpot in the South Carolina Powerball lottery on 19th August 2009.
Solomon Jackson Jr., a former supervisor in the state Revenue Department was unmarried and had no children. A lifelong resident of the Columbia area, Jackson said his South Carolina lottery win wouldn’t change him. He cut his neighbour’s grass, ate burgers for lunch and told press “I’m retired; I have enough money”. He bought the winning South Carolina lottery ticket at a Murphy USA petrol station in Columbia on a whim after filling up his car. The winning numbers were 14, 24, 31, 43 and 51 with a Powerball number of 27. A very community minded man, Jackson later donated $10 million of his South Carolina Powerball win to Morris College in Sumter, $500,000 to buy two new buses for Benedict College in Columbia and $2 million to Booker T. Washington High School in Columbia. He had consulted with a lawyer prior to cashing in his $259 million South Carolina Powerball ticket and chose to take the cash option. On the day he claimed his South Carolina lottery win, he said that it marked a “beautiful day for education in South Carolina.” Director of the South Carolina Lottery, Paula Harper Bethea, said “Solomon is an ambassador for how to handle the pressure and responsibilities which come with this kind of life altering event”.
Jonathan Vargas, a graduate from Airport High School in Gaston, was only nineteen years old when he won the $35.3 million South Carolina Powerball jackpot on 17th May 2008. Vargas said that it was God who gave him the winning South Carolina lottery numbers and that he was not going to let him down. Jonathan said that on Saturday 17th May, he was working on a building site when “this weird feeling came over me”. He said someone told him the South Carolina Powerball numbers for that night; in his head. The numbers which Vargas heard were 12, 14, 15, 21, 43, and the Powerball of 30. The first five numbers are ages which his siblings and his mother turned that year. The Powerball was an expiry date on a carton of juice.
At the press conference, Jonathan Vargas said that “Investing money was very important. I have my family to protect and help secure their futures.” He intended to employ a lawyer and financial adviser and use his aunt as his accountant for help with his South Carolina lottery cash pay-out of $17.3 million.
He wanted to set up trust funds for his siblings – three brothers and sister, and buy his mother a new house. He planned to donate some of his South Carolina Powerball winnings to his local church and further his education at college, something he would never have been able to do before winning his South Carolina Powerball prize.
Vargas planned to employ a bodyguard as he had been getting a lot of threats.
When interviewed by the Tampa Tribune, he said that he liked to party hard. He said his real loves in life were hot women and professional wrestling.
Vargas later bought a TV production company with his South Carolina lottery winnings which would be used to combine his two loves and called it Wrestlicious. The first show, featuring attractive women wrestling in staged fights, aired in 2010. Vargas was asked whether he thought this venture was a good way to spend his South Carolina Powerball prize, “I think it was. Time will tell of course. It certainly has been an awesome learning experience. Best case, we have a huge hit. Worst case, I have a tax write-off.” The show flopped after one season and rumours spread that Jonathan Vargas was now broke.
Anthony and Monica Wilson appeared at the South Carolina lottery headquarters with no idea as to how they would spend their huge South Carolina Powerball jackpot from the draw on 7th May 2003.
"It's a different world," Anthony Wilson of Charlotte said. "I'm happy and nervous at the same time."
A shop near Fort Mill sold the state's first-ever winning Powerball ticket, worth $88.7 million if paid out over 30 years, or $48.8 million if paid out in a lump sum. The winning numbers were 13, 18, 34, 35 and 51 and the Powerball was 28.
Anthony Wilson, 38, joked that he thought the person ahead of him in queue at the Red Rocket near Fort Mill may have picked a winner as the South Carolina lottery terminal made a funny noise when it spit out his tickets. Wilson said he didn't realise until Thursday morning at work that he had the winning South Carolina lottery ticket among the 60 he had bought. "I almost had a heart-attack," he said. Then he called his wife and his mother. "I have to call my mother back and see if she's all right," he told press at a news conference.
The Wilsons children were 16 and 12 years old at the time of the win. "No doubt, they are going to school. I guess they can go to a good school now - a real good school," their father said. They did not have extravagant plans, but would donate some of their South Carolina lottery winnings to their church and pay off the house they intended to buy in Fort Mill so they could live debt-free; something many of us dream of.
Lottery24.com has many more winners’ stories for you to read.
The South Carolina Lottery withholds taxes from lottery winnings over $500. Reporting amounts of less than $500 is the responsibility of each individual winner and all winners are recommended to seek financial advice from a professional.
The South Carolina Education Lottery is relatively new compared with other US lotteries, having only been set up on 7th January 2002. Sales of South Carolina lottery tickets in 2002 were $319 Million, and by 2012 they had risen to $1,135.65. Scenic South Carolina, Carolina Riches, 3 Times Lucky and the Logo Game were the first instant games released, and sales were so strong that the South Carolina Lottery was able to repay its start-up loan in February.
Two months later, the South Carolina Lottery launched South Carolina Pick 3, its first draw game, followed by Carolina 5 in June and Powerball in October. Pick 4 was added to the selection in January 2003.
While the South Carolina lottery hasn't been around for long, almost 50% of residents have taken part in state games and nearly all players regularly check the latest South Carolina lottery results. Bizarrely, residents are unable to purchase South Caroline lottery tickets on the day of either a primary or general election.
Players do not have to be a resident of South Carolina to play, but must purchase their lottery tickets and claim any prize in South Carolina.
South Carolina lottery prizes up to and including $500 can be redeemed at any lottery retailer. All prizes of $100,000 or less can be redeemed by post or at the Columbia Claims Centre, while winnings over $100,000 must be redeemed in person at the Columbia Claims Centre.
The South Carolina Education Lottery pays for most of the state’s lottery scholarships, although taxpayers contribute through the state’s general fund. Since the start of the South Carolina Lottery in 2002 until Fiscal Year 2013-14, $3.4 billion has supported education, from K-12 through to higher education.
South Carolina Lottery retailers earn 7% commission on tickets sold, among the highest offered by a lottery in the United States.