After five long months, a winner has finally appeared. South Carolina Lottery officials on Monday have said that the winner of the $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot has come forward. This is a huge win for both the lottery industry and the state. If the winner had not stepped forward, the state would have lost $61 million in tax revenue, as discussed in our previous article.
The issue is what to do with this extra, one-time windfall of cash. Republicans wish to give the money back to the people in the form a $50 tax rebate for every citizen. The $61 million will be combined with another $34 million already set aside for this purpose. Democrats wish to use it to give a bonus to state employees.
Money directly earned by lottery revenue must be used to support the education system in South Carolina. But because this money is coming in through tax income, it is unrestricted in how it can be used. The issue will be debated during budget discussions on March 11th.
The retailer who sold the ticket is also thankful, as they would have lost their winner’s commission if the person had not stepped forward.