It was just coincidence that South Carolina Education Lottery Commission executive director Hogan Brown appeared before state senators the same week that a Mega Millions ticket worth $1.6 billion was sold in Simpsonville.
However, Brown took the opportunity to explain to lawmakers how the games work. “What we transfer to the state for Mega Millions, Powerball or any draw game is much different than an instant (scratch-off) game,” he testified to the Senate Joint Education and Finance Committee last week.
Brown explained that the lottery makes different amounts of money off of different types of games. Generally, the lottery introduced two to four instant games a month. However, the number of new games may vary depending on inventory and ticket sales.
In addition to the lottery proceeds, the winning ticketholder would withhold roughly $61 million in income taxes whenever the winner claims it.
Brown said lottery officials normally have a good idea of how much money they will make off instant games — which have a set, controlled number of winners. However, “draw” games where the player picks his or her own numbers (like the Mega Millions and Powerball) can be more difficult to predict.
Besides the major jackpots, South Carolina also offers the Pick 3, Pick 4, Palmetto Cash 5 and Lucky For Life draw games.