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Unclaimed $1.5 Billion Mega Millions Jackpot Could Put a Hole in South Carolina’s Budget

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An advertisement for the Mega Millions and Powerball lottery hangs on a window of the New York Lottery Customer Service Center, October 23, 2018 in New York City. (Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

An advertisement for the Mega Millions and Powerball lottery hangs on a window of the New York Lottery Customer Service Center, October 23, 2018 in New York City. (Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The winner of a $1.537 billion lottery jackpot in South Carolina has yet to come forward. That means the state of South Carolina might be a big loser too.

Economic officials estimated the winner would pay $61 million in state income taxes, and put that money into the budget. That much money could pay for new voting machines or a police officer in every South Carolina public school.

But with the prize unclaimed, the state Board of Economic Advisors is expected Thursday to suggest removing the $61 million windfall from the state spending plan. That’s more than 0.5 percent of South Carolina’s $9 billion budget in lawmakers’ control.

The winner has until April 19 to claim the prize before it’s returned to the 44 states that play Mega Millions.

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