VIC Column: Mega Billions - A Reflection
By Vic MacDonald
The persistent rumor on social media is that the winner of $1.6 billion - yes, that’s Billion with a B - works at ZF Transmissions in Gray Court.
We may never know. South Carolina law allows lottery winners to remain anonymous. We understand why, but isn’t this a law that could lead to unintended consequences. With no public disclosure, what’s to stop the people who run the lottery from winning it all the time? After all, we would never know.
Already people on the all-knowing social media are urging the winner to “do something” with the Billion. Of course, that person IS going to do something. Lawmakers in Columbia already are fighting over how to spend the income tax money that this lottery winner will pay (that’s on top of the budget surplus they just found out about). The store owner who sold the winning ticket gets $50,000 - he’s going to be paying some in to the state coffers, also.
Some guys have all the luck.
Of course, we sound like the sellers of sour grapes. We don’t “play the lottery” - have never wanted to, and never will want to. Billions - with a B - won’t change that. It’s really just a big ol’ pot of money that lawmakers can stick their grimy fingers into, any way. Paid into by the people who can least afford to pay into it. As with anything that sounds too good to be true - pay $1 win a Billion - it probably is (too good to be true, that is). The lottery’s been around a long time - our schools aren’t any better. The lottery pays some money to technical education - still, industries complain that they can’t find the kind of workers they really want (as in, already trained so the industries don’t have to do that training any more).
A store in the remote outskirts of Simpsonville sold the winning $1.6 Billion lottery ticket. And for an hour that put Simpsonville on the map. The Washington Post came down and told us that The Doobie Brothers played in Simpsonville last month. They’re still around? Gray-haired rock dies hard, we guess.
We know we’re just howling at the moon here, but Lottery Billionaire, if you want a county to adopt, we have one. That $1.6 Billion - it’s about $800 Million if you take it in a lump sum, and the whole $1.6B if you take it in 30 annual payments - could do some real good here. Heck, $1.6 Billion could almost pay off the mortgage at Open Door, retire the debt on Clinton High School, get Presbyterian College out of hock to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, get us a water plant on Lake Greenwood, pay for a new Gray Court-Owings-Greenpond-Fountain Inn high school, and buy us a new County Administrator (well, almost) along with a new generator for the jail.
In any event, congratulations, Lottery Billionaire whoever you are. Your 5th Cousin Twice Removed on Your Aunt’s Side, Elroy, is buzzing your iPhone 12.
(Vic MacDonald, Editor of The Clinton Chronicle, has never bought a lottery ticket. Reach him at 833-1900 or firstname.lastname@example.org)