Vacationer Eradio Marquez left the Grand Strand with a souvenir way better than the typical Myrtle Beach T-shirt: a $100,000 winning lottery ticket.
The New York resident returned home then jumped back in his car and drove 12 hours to cash in the ticket Aug. 14 at the S.C. Education Lottery office in Columbia, lottery spokeswoman Holli Armstrong said this week.
It’s unclear whether Marquez didn’t scratch off the ticket until he got home or whether he knew it was a winning ticket before leaving Myrtle Beach but had to get his family back to New York quickly.
While tourists are frequent winners in the state’s lottery, this is the first one Armstrong remembers who went home before collecting their money.
“I can’t think of any who actually went back home first,” she said.
Marquez could have saved himself a trip and mailed the ticket, according to lottery rules. Winnings of $100,000 and less can be mailed, Armstrong said.
“I don’t know that he wanted that ticket to leave his hands,” she said, adding that he planned to use the money to buy a house.
Marquez bought the $5 Pure Gold scratch-off winning ticket at the Kangaroo Express at 4815 U.S. 17 in North Myrtle Beach during his first visit to the Grand Strand, Armstrong said. The odds of winning $100,000 are one in 480,000, according to the lottery.
“He was very pleased and he had a wonderful time in Myrtle Beach and wants to come back,” Armstrong said.
Contact DAWN BRYANT at 626-0296 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_dawnbryant.