A Bluffton, South Carolina, woman nearly threw away $250,000.
She was cleaning her car more than a month ago when she noticed a lottery ticket she had purchased at the Publix on Buckwalter Place Boulevard. She thought the ticket, which was stuffed under the seat, was worthless.
Before tossing it out, she marked off a few unscratched numbers and realized she'd hit the jackpot: $250,000 on a "$250 Grand" ticket.
"I was shaking," the woman, who declined to be named or interviewed, told S.C. Education Lottery officials Monday.
Too nervous to drive to Columbia alone, she waited until after the holidays for her sister to accompany her to the lottery office to turn in the ticket, a news release said.
"It drove me nuts," she said. "I thought up everything that could go wrong with the ticket."
The woman told lottery officials she is thinking of buying a new car with the money.
Her odds of winning the prize were about 1 in 576,000, according to the release.
The lottery office also reports that the owner of a $300,000 winning ticket sold in Hardeeville has come forward after the drawing Dec. 27. Last week, an out-of-state woman presented her Palmetto Cash 5 ticket sold at the Gulf Oil gas station on Whyte Hardee Boulevard, lottery representative Holli Armstrong said.
The woman, who declined to be interviewed, told Armstrong she was visiting family for the holidays when she purchased the ticket. She plans to put the money in savings, Armstrong said.
Despite the odds, the region has seen its share of winners. Eight other tickets purchased in Beaufort or Jasper counties during the past two years delivered prizes of at least $50,000 each, according to Holli Armstrong, a lottery representative.
Other local winners include a Hardeeville man who netted $200,000 from a Lucky Loot ticket he bought at Handy Dans 3 in Ridgeland, according to a news release.
Six of the tickets were purchased in Bluffton, including one that won $200,000 in Cash Bash on Nov. 25.
The most recent Bluffton winner will claim $250,000, and the Buckwalter Publix will receive a $2,500 commission, Armstrong said.