GWINN DAVIS MEDIA (copy)

South Carolina Education Lottery chief Tony Cooper and store owner C.J. Patel speak to reporters in 2018 after a $1.6 billion Mega Millions jackpot ticket was sold at Patel's KC Mart in Simpsonville. File/Gwinn Davis/Special to The Post and Courier

South Carolina has started sending $50 tax rebate checks from a lottery jackpot windfall to more than 1.2 million taxpayers.

The first 400,000 checks were issued this week, Gov. Henry McMaster's office said.

The state Department of Revenue is sending checks by order of ZIP code. All checks should arrive by Dec. 2.

The money headed to taxpayers comes from the state's $61 million tax windfall with a $1.5 billion Mega Millions lottery jackpot on a ticket sold at an Upstate convenience store in 2018. State lawmakers added another $6 million to provide a $50 rebate.

"Any time the government funds essential programs and agencies and has money left over, we should strive to send it back to the people who earned it," McMaster said.

To receive a check, taxpayers must have filed a 2018 S.C. individual income tax return by Oct. 15 and had a tax liability after credits of $50 or more. Couples filing jointly will receive only one $50 check. 

About four in 10 S.C. taxpayers won't receive a check. The state is spending an estimated $700,000 to mail the checks.

Checks will be mailed to addressees on file with the state tax agency, typically those used on 2018 state tax returns. Taxpayers who have moved should go to dor.sc.gov/rebate for instructions.

Anyone with further questions can go to the state's tax rebate website, email screbate@dor.sc.gov or call 844-898-8542.

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