South Carolina residents will be receiving rebate checks from the state lottery, even if they have never played a single lottery game before.
The $50 checks are hitting mailboxes in the days to come, and the only qualification is paying South Carolina income taxes of $50 or greater.
So far, 400,000 checks have been disbursed with more than 800,000 more to come by Dec. 2.
What's this about?
Last fall, a Simpsonville convenience store sold the winning ticket for the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot. The unidentified winner claimed a lump-sum payment of $877.7 million, the largest lottery payment ever, and donated much of it to charity, including the Simpsonville Arts Center.
In the most recent legislative session, lawmakers decided to disburse $61 million in tax revenue derived from the Mega Millions winnings as a "rebate" to eligible taxpayers in the form of $50 checks.
The state Department of Revenue had to wait until the Oct. 15 individual income tax extension deadline to begin the process.
More than 1.2 million taxpayers will receive checks in the coming weeks.
The only qualifications are that they paid their income taxes and their liability is at least $50 after credits.
Married couples who filed jointly for 2018 income will receive one check.
The rebates are being mailed in zip code order.
"This is great news for South Carolina's taxpayers," Gov. Henry McMaster said in a statement. "Any time the government funds essential programs and agencies and has money left over, we should strive to send it back to the people who earned it."
The Department of Revenue has created a webpage for anyone seeking information, and will also answer questions by phone or email — SCRebate@dor.sc.gov or 844-898-8542.
Identifying the check and where it will be mailed
Rebates are mailed in a standard envelope with the SCDOR listed in the return address.
The memo line on each check reads "SC TAX REBATE."
A box in the middle of each check provides information about what the rebate is.
The check will be for exactly $50.
All rebate checks will be mailed to eligible taxpayers to the address the SCDOR has on file, which is likely the address on your 2018 South Carolina Individual Income Tax Return.
If you still live at the address listed on your 2018 return, you do not need to update your address. If you have moved since filing your 2018 return, and you have not yet updated your address with the SCDOR, visit dor.sc.gov/rebate for instructions on how to update your address as soon as possible.
Please allow time for processing and mailing. If you're eligible and haven't received your rebate by December 27, download and complete form SC3911. Write "Rebate" at the top of the form and skip the Refund Options section.
Direct deposit isn't available for the rebate, whether you received your regular tax refund that way or not.