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Powerball Winner Scores $400 Million Jackpot, Wants to Remain Anonymous

Powerball AP Photo/ Richard Shiro

And all because of hot dogs.

A South Carolina man claimed the $400 million Powerball jackpot this week, the largest lottery win in the state's history. The winning ticket was sold at a Murphy Express convenience store near Columbia, where Powerball officials say the man stopped for gas and hot dog buns. 

Murphy Express didn't have hot dog buns, so he spent $20 on lottery tickets instead.

CostCo's website advertises a 24-pack of hot dog buns for $3.00. For $20, the man could have purchased 144 hot dog buns. And still had $2 left over for whatever (gum, a candy bar, etc.)

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The ticket, one of 356 sold at that particular gas station last Wednesday, was a "quick pick" ticket, which means the computer randomly chose the winning numbers: 7-10-22-32-35 with a 19 Powerball. The odds of matching all six numbers is 1 in 175 million.

It was only his second time playing the lottery, Fox News reports

And, for now, the man has chosen to remain anonymous. When he realized that he won, he told "the only creature around, his dog," lottery officials say. We assume he has since told his wife.

He could remain anonymous forever too. South Carolina is one of only six states where, by law, winners do not have to be identified. Powerball reps have also not announced whether he took the lump cash payment of $233 million or opted for $399.4 over 30 years (either way, he's expected to pay about $15 million in state taxes. Womp womp!)

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Murphy Express owner Keith Wedmore has said he will not reveal the winner's identity by looking at security footage: "We're curious, but to me, they have a right to remain private," he told USA Today. "We just want to be decent about it." 

Plus, Murphy Express gets a $50,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket. Which is a bit of extra incentive.

And why would he not want to remain anonymous? Who wants all those deadbeat family members coming out of the woodwork to mooch off his winnings? Especially now that, with nearly $400 million, he can buy 3.2 billion hot dog buns.

(Or some of this stuff.)

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