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Unclaimed $1.5B jackpot could put hole in state budget

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 mid-April to claim the prize or it is returned to the 44 states that play Mega Millions.

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