December 7, 2012

Ariz. man claims half of $588M Powerball prize

The Associated Press

PHOENIX —The second winner in last week's $587.5 million Powerball drawing is a married man in his 30s from the wealthy Phoenix suburb of Fountain Hills, lottery officials said Friday.

click image to enlarge

In this Nov. 29, 2012 photo, Karen Bach, Director of Budget, Products and Communications of the Arizona Lottery, announces during a news conference in Phoenix that one of the winning tickets in the $579.9 million Powerball jackpot was purchased in Fountain Hills, Ariz. The other ticket holders in last week's record $577.5 million Powerball jackpot have claimed their half of the prize but aren't stepping into the spotlight just yet, the Arizona Lottery said Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

The man remained anonymous, and his prize was announced by officials who said he bought $10 worth of tickets and kept the winning slip in the visor of his car before coming forward.

The man opted to take the pretax cash option of $192 million. Lottery officials said his wife owns half the prize because Arizona is a community property state.

"He and his wife couldn't believe it," lottery official Karen Bach said. "They checked the numbers over and over again — absolutely shocked."

Bach said the man is financially savvy and wants to take time to make a solid financial plan and set up a charitable entity to aid causes that he and his wife support.

They told lottery officials they likely would keep working.

The ticket was sold at a convenience store in Fountain Hills, northeast of Phoenix.

A mechanic and his wife, Mark and Cindy Hill, of Dearborn, Mo., already have claimed their half of the multistate Powerball prize.

The jackpot was the second-largest in U.S. history and set off a nationwide buying frenzy. At one point, tickets were selling at nearly 130,000 a minute.

Before the Nov. 28 drawing, the jackpot had rolled over 16 consecutive times without any winners. In a Mega Millions drawing in March, three ticket buyers shared a $656 million jackpot, the largest lottery payout of all time.

Lottery officials said Friday the second winner has a job as a professional, lived in Pennsylvania until about a year ago, and only played the lotto twice since moving to Arizona.

He quickly decided to claim the money this year — as opposed to waiting until 2013 for tax reasons — because "he did have concern with the uncertainty with the fiscal cliff in 2013," Bach said.

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