It’s happy birthdates for SC’s two $2 million Powerball winners

online@thestate.com April 11, 2012 

Two $2 million Powerball winners from South Carolina have their families to thank for their winnings.

Both used birthdates to pick their winning numbers in the Saturday drawing.

A Latta man picked the birth dates of his mother, brother, daughter, grandmother and himself to fill out his ticket, the SC Education Lottery said.

Another winner, who purchased his ticket in Columbia, will be buying a new fishing boat and a truck to haul it after the birthdates he’s been playing for a decade finally came up winners.

Those numbers – 5, 13, 17, 20 and 30 – matched the five white ball numbers drawn Saturday. The tickets did not match the Powerball number, 18. The winnings in both cases were increased to $2 million because of the PowerPlay option.

The odds of winning $2 million in the multistate Powerball lottery are 1 in 5,153,633.

The Latta man, who bought his ticket at the Market Place in Hartsville, said he jumped off his couch and ran outside to tell his wife the news.

“He was as white as a piece of cotton,” she told lottery officials. “I thought something was wrong.”

The couple plans to buy a new car and use the rest of the winnings as a nest egg.

The winner also plans to retire.

“I’m calling my boss and letting him know he needs to find someone else,” he said.

The store received a $20,000 commission for selling the ticket.

The Columbia winner, who purchased his ticket at the Alhanik “Obama” gas station, which also will receive a $20,000 commission, plans to spend a lot more time on Lake Wateree.

But at first, he thought he’d won $200,000 after reading the winning numbers in the Sunday newspaper. It was lottery officials who informed that his ticket was, in fact, worth $2 million. They reported he was visibly shaken.

Kelly Davis

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