A broken machine led a South Carolina man to pay in cash — and spend his change on a winning lottery ticket.
The man became tearful after he scratched off the ticket to reveal a $300,000 prize, the S.C. Education Lottery said Thursday.
“I called my wife,” said the winner, who wasn’t identified in a news release. “She thought something bad happened because of how my voice sounded.”
The emotional moment came after the man went to purchase gas for his lawnmower. At another store, he tried to buy ice but something was wrong with the card reader, according to the S.C. Education Lottery.
Officials said the man “got cash to pay for the ice and later used the change he got back to buy the winning ticket at the Chris Corner convenience store.” The business is in Saint George, a Dorchester County town that’s roughly 50 miles northwest of Charleston.
It turns out, the ticket he bought scored the top prize in the Carolina Bonus Cash scratch-off game after beating odds of nearly 1 in 669,000. He kept $209,000 after taxes, lottery spokesperson Holli Armstrong told McClatchy News in an email.
“It’s weird how it happened,” the man said of the events leading to his jackpot win.
The man claimed his prize in Columbia then headed home — to mow the grass. Officials said the winner and his wife plan to use the money to pay for their children to go to college and help others.
He’s not the first person to get a big windfall after a trip to the store didn’t go as planned.
In North Carolina, officials said a lottery player recently scored a big prize after a convenience store sold out of the ticket he originally wanted.
And in South Carolina, a couple deviated from their grocery list and ended up buying a lucky ticket worth $100,000, McClatchy News reported in March.