He thought he won $3 — but his South Carolina lottery prize was much bigger

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Two lottery tickets sold in a “tiny” South Carolina town won big — and one of the prizes has gone unclaimed.

The other winner came forward after first thinking he bought a ticket that was worth $3, the S.C. Education Lottery said Thursday.

Then he took a closer look, convincing him he had won much more. That suspicion was confirmed just before he went to bed, when he realized he had won $75,000 in the Super Crossword game.

“My heart dropped,” said the jackpot winner, who wasn’t identified in a news release.

The man lost sleep after buying his lucky ticket at a Hot Spot convenience store in Gresham, a small town roughly 40 miles northwest of Myrtle Beach. The area is in Marion County, which has about 30,000 residents.

The man who won the big prize kept $51,750 after taxes, officials said.

“I wasn’t tired any more after I got my money,” said the winner, who beat 1-in-600,000 odds.

The Gresham store has proven to be a lucky spot. A ticket worth $50,000 was recently sold there, marking the town’s second major win in two weeks.

But no one had claimed that prize as of Thursday afternoon, lottery spokesperson Holli Armstrong told McClatchy News in an email.

The ticket won big in Wednesday’s Powerball drawing, so players are urged to check their tickets. The lucky winner — who beat 1-in-913,129 odds — has about six months to come forward, the S.C. Education Lottery said on its website.

Last month, three prize-winning tickets were sold at the same Lowes Foods store outside of Charleston, McClatchy News previously reported.

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