Anthony and Monica Wilson
May 7, 2003
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Anthony and Monica Wilson were still in shock as they stood behind the podium at the South Carolina lottery headquarters without a clue as to how they will spend their big Powerball jackpot.
"It's a different world," Anthony Wilson of Charlotte, N.C., said. "I'm happy and nervous at the same time."
A store near Fort Mill sold the state's first-ever winning Powerball ticket, which is worth $88.7 million if paid out over 30 years, or $48.8 million if paid out in a lump sum. Wednesday night's winning numbers were 13-18-34-35-51 and the Powerball was 28.
Lottery spokeswoman Tara Robertson said the couple had not decided which payment option they would take. "I guess for anyone, you become speechless," Robertson said. "For them it's a dream, a dream that has come true."
Anthony Wilson, 38, joked that he thought the person ahead of him in line at the Red Rocket on U.S. Highway 21 near Fort Mill may have gotten a winner because the lottery machine made a funny noise when it spit out those tickets.
Wilson said he didn't realize until Thursday morning at work that he had the winner among the 60 tickets he bought. "I almost had a heart-attack," he said. Then he called his wife and his mother. "I have to call my mother back and see if she's all right," he said at a news conference in Columbia.
The Wilsons have not told their children, who are 16 and 12 years old, but were going to their son's concert right after the news conference. The lottery win does mean the children are going to college. "No doubt, they are going to school. I guess they can go to a good school now - a real good school,"
Anthony Wilson said. They said they do not have extravagant plans, but would give some money to their church and plan to pay off the house they intend to buy in Fort Mill so they can live debt-free. The Wilsons didn't know whether they would continue to work, but said they would take the honeymoon they never had.
"We're going to work on some additions to the family," said Anthony Wilson, a calibrations technician at Holopack International in Columbia. Monica Wilson, 36, works at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Fort Mill.
Robertson said the state of South Carolina won along with the Wilsons. Seven percent of their winnings will come back to South Carolina through state taxes. The winnings are subject to a 27 percent federal tax,
Robertson said. The South Carolina lottery started on Jan. 7, 2002, with just four versions of scratch-off tickets. Now, the lottery has expanded to include three numbers games and the Powerball.
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