FILE - In this Oct. 24, 2018, file photo, media, left record people entering the KC Mart in Simpsonville, S.C., after it was announced the winning Mega Millions lottery ticket was purchased at the store. Unless the winner chooses to come forward, the world may never know who won. The winner of a $1.537 billion lottery jackpot in South Carolina has yet to come forward. That means the state of South Carolina might be a big loser too. With the prize unclaimed, the state Board of Economic Advisors is expected Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, to suggest removing the $61 million windfall from the state spending plan. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins, File)

Unclaimed $1.5B prize: South Carolina could be big loser too

February 14, 2019 - 2:45 pm

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The winner of a $1.54 billion lottery jackpot in South Carolina has yet to come forward. That means the state of South Carolina might be a big loser too.

Economic officials estimated the winner would pay $61 million in state income taxes, and put that money into the budget. That much could pay for new voting machines or a police officer in every South Carolina public school.

With the prize unclaimed, the state Board of Economic Advisors on Thursday removed the $61 million windfall from the state spending plan. That's more than 0.5 percent of South Carolina's $9 billion budget in lawmakers' control and put growth forecasts on a razor-thin margin.

The winner has until April 19 to claim the prize before it's returned to the 44 Mega Millions states.

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