COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - A Columbia man two months away from foreclosure on his home has won $400,000 playing the lottery. He says his first act will be to pay off his mortgage.
"This is the best I've felt in a long time," the winner told lottery officials when he arrived with the winning ticket.
He said he moved to South Carolina from New Jersey six years ago in search of a peaceful, easy life. Unemployed for over a year and a half, the winner has been looking for work and trying to stay optimistic.
"My life has felt like a rainstorm. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong," he said.
"There have been times I have prayed for work, but I've never prayed for a Winning Cash 5 ticket, only a job," he says.
But a Palmetto Cash 5 ticket with a $400,000 prize is what he got. He matched all five numbers drawn last night (12, 20, 22, 25, and 27).
He said he always picks his own numbers, a combination of family birth dates. But the winning ticket was a halfhearted quick pick. He paid the extra $1 for power-up which multiplied his winnings by "4" to $400,000.
He didn't sleep last night. After watching the televised lottery drawing and writing down the numbers, he wasn't sure what he won. So he visited retailers all over Columbia checking to see if his numbers matched. The lottery confirmed for him Wednesday morning he was the top prize winner.