Editor: The original news story contained several errors that have been corrected, as noted below.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Right now one Powerball lottery ticket holder is a multi-millionaire and may not even know it. So far no one has come forward to claim Wednesday night's prize of $259,900,000.
The Powerball winner bought the ticket in South Carolina at the Murphy USA store on Garners Ferry Road in Columbia.
The interim director of the S.C. Education Lottery made the announcement Thursday morning at the store. Paula Harper Bethea says this is the sixth time in seven years that someone from the Palmetto state has won the Powerball, and it's the largest jackpot in the state's history.
"We are just so hopeful that this is a lucky South Carolinian or several lucky South Carolinians," Bethea said.
The winner will have to choose whether they want to take a lump cash sum of approximately $129,000,000 (before state and federal tax withholdings), or get paid installments for 29 years. [Editor: I fixed several errors in the original news story from WCSC, including a claim that the winner will have 50% of the prize taken out in taxes, followed by more tax withholdings.]
Winners who choose yearly payments will be paid for the first time right after claiming the win and then an annually-increasing amount for the next 29 years. [Editor: Again, I fixed more errors here. The story claimed that annual payments stay the same every year, and the opposite is true — Powerball is one of the few lotteries to use an annuity payment schedule that increases the payment each year.]
The payments can be passed on to an heir or estate if the winner dies.
If and when a winner comes forward the Murphy USA store will also get a $50,000 check for selling the winning ticket. So far $2.2 billion from the state lottery has gone to education.
If you bought a ticket from Murphy USA in Columbia double check your tickets: The winning white ball numbers were 14, 24, 31, 43, and 51. The red Powerball was 27 and the Powerplay was 5.