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$400,000 richer, but Indian Land plumber will keep his day job

INDIAN LAND -- Brett Eschert of Indian Land is $400,000 richer.

Eschert, 30, won the Palmetto Cash 5 jackpot Wednesday, said Monica Moreira, Fort Mill claims manager with the S.C. Education Lottery.

Eschert hit the jackpot after he purchased his winning ticket earlier this week at Indian Land Amoco gas station, Moreira said.

"It's unbelievable," Eschert said Thursday. "I've been playing the lottery for years, and I've always felt I'd win one day. It's finally happened."

Eschert, who installs plumbing in new homes, purchased his lottery ticket Monday with signature numbers 5, 10, 12, 22 and 36 -- numbers that represent the ages of his children, 5-year-old Colby and 12-year-old Taylor, his wife's birthday and their wedding day and month.

The ticket cost $30, he said.

On Wednesday night, Eschert checked the Internet and discovered he'd picked the winning numbers. His wife, Tassie, was out walking the family's dog, so he shared the news with Taylor.

"I told her, 'We won the lottery,'" Eschert recalled. "I repeated it three times."

He showed Taylor his ticket and the computer screen with the winning numbers. After sleeping about four hours, Eschert went to work Thursday before claiming his win.

"That money is life-changing, but I'm not quitting work," Eschert said. "I went back to work the rest of the day after I got my winnings."

He plans to invest some of the money and might pay off the family home and purchase an SUV for his wife. And he plans to work today.

"Things have been kind of tough in the housing market," he said. "Work has finally picked up for us. I need to be there to get it done."

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