$400 Million Powerball Winner’s Identity to Remain a Secret
(CNN) — There is a man in South Carolina who has been keeping a big secret for the past five days.
Well, he did tell his dog. And, we assume, his wife.
He’s probably hoping his recent good fortune stays a secret, but this will be one mighty hard life-changing event to keep under wraps.
South Carolina lottery officials said Monday a man showed up at their office Monday with the winning ticket to last Wednesday’s $399.4 million Powerball jackpot.
In a news release, lottery officials said the man was from the Columbia area.
And that’s it. They didn’t say how old he was or give his name. South Carolina doesn’t divulge the identities of lottery winners to the public if they don’t want it to be known.
Officials did say he told them he was driving home when his wife called and told him they needed hot dog buns. So he pulled into a Murphy USA convenience store but there were no buns.
There was a sign for the lottery, so — for only the second time — he played, putting down a $20.
On Thursday, he was at home with just his dog when he checked the numbers.
And he had the ticket with the winning numbers: 7, 10, 22, 32, 35 and Powerball 19.
One that flies in the face of the formidable 1-in-175,223,510 odds.
The Murphy store will receive a cool $50,000 for selling the ticket. The release didn’t say whether the man chose a 29-year annuity plan or took a cash prize of $223 million.
Wednesday’s haul was the fourth largest lottery price in U.S. history, the biggest prize ever in South Carolina.
The biggest payload in American history was $665 million in the Mega Millions game in March 2012. The greatest Powerball jackpot was the $590.5 million won with a single ticket in Florida this past May.
So now people in Columbia might be a whole lot nicer to each other. After all, you never know if that guy you just served dinner to is worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
By CNN’s Steve Almasy