COLUMBIA — You think you pay a lot in taxes?
Well, the Columbia-area winner of the U.S.’s fifth-largest lottery jackpot paid nearly $71 million in state and federal taxes last week, S.C. lottery officials said Tuesday.
That’s enough to buy every ticket at Williams-Brice Stadium for 2 1/2 years of Gamecocks football games or two S.C. State Fair ride vouchers for every kid in the state.
The $399.4 million Powerball-winning ticket was sold last month at the Murphy Express convenience store at U.S. 1 and I-20 in Lexington. The winner selected a $233 million cash payout over a 29-year annuity that would have stretched payments to 2042.
The Powerball winner also chose to remain anonymous -- except to the tax collectors.
The winner paid $15.8 million in state taxes last week, lottery director Paula Harper Bethea told the Education Lottery Oversight Committee on Tuesday.
The money will be added to S.C. coffers for lawmakers to use as they like. The tax surge is enough to give a large group of state employees a one-time 1 percent pay raise.
The S.C. lottery also forwarded $55 million in taxes from the ticket to the federal government, which remains shut down partially after a congressional standoff.
“Since they are not operating, I thought we might keep that (tax money),” Bethea joked. “But they said ‘no.’ ”