The scoreboard in Death Valley read 27-17 when the final gun sounded Saturday and only one Aiken Standard reader saw that coming.
Retired Aiken resident Jim Ross earned an extra $150 for the holidays after being the only contestant to pick the exact score of Saturday's South Carolina win over Clemson.
“How about that, that's amazing,” Ross said upon being told he was the winner of the “Guess the Score” contest in Aiken Standard.
“I just sat there while I filled it out and kept thinking about the score based on the games I've seen and the way they've played,” Ross said. “I'm a Carolina fan, so I wanted them to win, too.”
While Ross was watching the game as intensely as other South Carolina residents across the state, he also had the score he had picked in the back of his mind as the game wore down.
“When it was over, I told my wife Carol, 'I think I won the Aiken Standard (contest)' and she didn't believe me,” Ross said.
Ross moved to Aiken roughly 53 years ago and has been retired from the Federal Aviation Administration since 1997.
Although he knew had picked Saturday's score correctly, he still had doubts he would actually win the prize.
“I was hoping more than expecting. I had a feeling it'd probably be a draw,” Ross said. “I talked to a couple people who said that it was a pretty common score.”
Now Ross is not only a little richer, he also owns bragging rights until next year's Battle of the Palmetto State as the only one in Aiken to pick the score dead on.
Editor's note: This version of this story has been changed to correct where the Carolina-Clemson game was held. The Aiken Standard regrets the error.