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Unclaimed Mega Millions worth $1.5 Causing Problems for South Carolina Budget

As we move into February, the $1.5bn unclaimed Mega Millions jackpot won in South Carolina last October is still available. It’s not just the mystery winner that is affected but the local lawmakers too.

Tax Revenue Delayed

If the winner doesn’t come forward to claim their massive prize, then there are going to be some re-calculations for the next fiscal year. The Upstate Palmetto State lawmakers were expecting to collect $61m in income taxes when the Mega Millions win was claimed.

If the Mega Millions winner comes forward then they must accept a lump-sum payment. Then the state lawmakers will receive a bumper tax boost too.
Recently a briefing was made on state revenue estimates by Frank Rainwater. He’s the director of the state Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office in South Carolina. Rainwater admitted that officials are “starting to get nervous about whether that $61 million is realistic.”

The unclaimed Mega Millions prize winner has until April 21 to claim their prize. The state’s economic advisers don’t have so long to wait. They have an upcoming mid-February meeting where projected surpluses will be discussed. These may have to be reduced and omit the expected $61m. That sum could cover agencies’ requests for new voting machines, new school textbooks or even prison cell door upgrades.

Reduced Amount Possible

If the unclaimed prize expires, the state will receive some money still. However, the $1.5bn will be shared out among all states that take part in the Mega Millions draw. How much they receive depends on their percentage of total sales.

That’s anticipated to be around $11m but there’s another problem. It would be classified as lottery profits and only able to be spent on college scholarships and other education expenses.

Here’s hoping the unclaimed Mega Millions jackpot is scooped up soon.

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