Powerball Winner a Welcome Mystery for Zephyrhills, Fla., Residents
The winning ticket was sold at a Publix supermarket.
$590 Million Powerball Ticket Sold in Florida
May 20, 2013 — The search is on in Zephyrhills, Fla., for the lucky person who entered a Publix supermarket in recent days and purchased the winning Powerball ticket worth $590.5 million.
Today is the earliest the ticketholder can come forward because Florida’s lottery headquarters in Tallahassee were closed for the weekend. Under state law, the winner’s name, age and hometown will be made public after turning in the winning ticket.
The winner will have to decide whether to take the annuity or a lump sum, which comes out to $370,896,780.54. The lottery withholds 25 percent to pay federal taxes, but there’s no state tax in the Sunshine State, which means someone is going to walk away with about $278 million after taxes.
If the winner or winners decide to receive the lump sum, they must claim the cash 60 days after the drawing, according to Florida lottery laws. The winner(s) can claim the prize 180 days after the drawing if they take the winnings in installments.
“I can’t believe it. It’s shocking,” Sara Jeltis told ABC News Radio. “Out of the whole country, this Publix in little Zephyrhills would be the winner.”
Zephyrhills — population of 13,337 — is largely known for its bottled water, but now the small suburb about 30 miles northeast of downtown Tampa might be the home of America’s newest millionaire.
“Who ever it is, I will be glad to see if we know them or anything like that,” Brian Miller said, according to ABC News Radio.
The winning numbers in Saturday’s drawing were 10, 13, 14, 22, 52, and a Powerball of 11.
To truly understand how lucky the winning ticketholder is, the Zephyrhills city budget is just more than $49 million. The winning Powerball jackpot is 12 times that, according to The Associated Press.
The rumor mill is swirling among residents in Zephyrhills with plenty of people buzzing about the winner possibly being a neighbor or even someone they know. Was it a grandfather from one of the many senior communities across the town? Or was it a young woman with two children who might have even worked at the Publix where the ticket sold?
“I heard some 26-year-old girl won,” resident Gary Cooper said.
Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous said there are a lot of rumors about who won, but the store doesn’t know.
“We’re excited for the winner or winners,” Brous told The Associated Press. “We don’t promote or endorse the lottery. We offer it as a convenience.”
Resident Martha Bennett made it clear that she wasn’t the winner but is glad to know they’re likely going to be a neighbor.
“I think that’s awesome. I can’t wait to see who it is. I hope it’s somebody I know. I think it would be great,” she said.
The previous record for a Powerball jackpot was $587.5 million Nov. 28, 2012, and was split between two winning tickets.
The odds of winning the top jackpot were 1 in 175.2 million.
ABC News’ Steve Osunsami and ABC News Radio contributed reporting.The search is on in Zephyrhills, Fla., for the lucky person who entered a Publix supermarket in recent days and purchased the winning Powerball ticket worth $590.5 million. ]]>