S.C. town waits for Powerball winner to come forward
As people drove past the tidy mill houses in town and the mobile homes on the outskirts of town Thursday, they couldnt help but wonder: Is somebody in one of those homes holding the $110 million ticket?
One of two winning tickets in the $221.5 million Powerball lottery was sold Wednesday morning at Clover Shop and Save, about four miles below the state line. (The other winning ticket was bought in Pennsylvania.)
As of late Thursday, no one had come forward with the winning ticket, leaving the customers at the Shop and Save to wonder out loud if one of their neighbors is suddenly very wealthy.
Its going to be somebody I know, said Tommy Warlick of Clover. I hope it is, so they can give me some of it.
Customers lined up Thursday to buy more lottery tickets from clerk Tammy Howell, many of them buzzing about the big prize.
You sold my ticket to somebody else, joked Doris Byrd of Gastonia, N.C. You know that was my ticket.
An eight-pump gas station and convenience store with a Bojangles attached, the Stop and Shop isnt the first place in the state on U.S. 321 for North Carolinians to pick up a S.C. lottery ticket. But lots of Tar Heels are lured to drive a few extra miles for the cheap gas, an expansive parking lot and a chance for the occasional huge Powerball payday.
You should have seen it the last three days, Howell said. They were double-parked out front, and people were parking out back.
It was nearly as busy Thursday.
People who have tickets and find out we sold the winner want them checked in a hurry, store co-owner Coit McCarter said.
With no winners to interview Thursday, Howell and Coit and Russell McCarter stole the spotlight. TV trucks lined the parking lot for a 12:30 p.m. news conference. At one time, Howell wore four clip-on microphones on her collar like a high-tech necklace.
The national network morning shows called to set up live shots for today.
On Thursday, lottery security officials descended on the store about 3 a.m., pulling information from sales computers to verify a ticket with the winning numbers 5, 7, 18, 28, 35 and a powerball of 1 had been sold there. Lottery officials confirmed the winning sale at 9:45 a.m.
The Shop and Save wins the maximum vendor incentive of $50,000 for selling the ticket. Coit McCarter said he plans to give some of that bonus to his employees. They already have S.C. lottery gift bags, each stuffed with a coffee mug, a pencil, a squishy ball, a key chain and a T-shirt.
Howell couldnt help dreaming of a little more. She operated the computer where the winning ticket was sold most of the morning Wednesday, though Russell McCarter relieved her for a short break around 10:30 a.m., about the time of the big purchase.
It doesnt matter who sold it, Howell said, with a pause for emphasis, unless they come back in with a tip. Then it matters.
The staff reviewed the security camera tapes, looking for people they knew who had bought tickets around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday. They called one woman they thought they recognized, but she said she hadnt bought a ticket this week.
The winners can choose $60.1 million in cash immediately or spread out the payments over 29 years for the $110.75 million total. They have 60 days after the ticket is validated to make the decision.
Two other tickets bought in the state matched five numbers and won $100,000.
The jackpot was the fifth-largest Powerball payout ever and the sdventh-largest lottery jackpot in the country, according to lottery officials.
The multistate Powerball drawing has been part of the S.C. lottery offerings for 15 months. This is the second jackpot ticket sold in the state. In May, Anthony and Monica Wilson of Charlotte bought a ticket that earned $88.7 million from a Fort Mill store.
Maybe thats why Isaac Carter Jr. of Dallas, N.C., after ensuring his ticket wasnt the big one, said, Hopefully this time its somebody from South Carolina.