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Powerball winner confirms: I do want that $337 million

August 22, 2012|By Amy Hubbard
  • After five hours of waiting, Lidia Magana reaches the entrance of a Los Angeles store to buy tickets in the Mega Millions lottery in March. In Michigan, the winner of the $337-million Powerball jackpot has reached out to claim the prize.
After five hours of waiting, Lidia Magana reaches the entrance of a Los Angeles… (Arkasha Stevenson / Los…)

It took a week, but the winner of the $337-million Powerball jackpot has reached out to the Michigan Lottery.

It's the third-largest prize in Powerball history, the lottery says, and no date has been scheduled yet for the winner to come forward to claim it.

Non-winners may wonder: What are you waiting for?!

There's the media frenzy, the long-lost greedy relatives and the host of financial decisions a winner faces, to name a few.

"This is an extraordinary amount of money," said Michigan Lottery public relations director Andi Brancato in an interview Wednesday morning with the Los Angeles Times.

"It is not unusual for people to take a week or 10 days to get things together, take a deep breath, talk to a financial advisor."

For the state lottery in Michigan, the winner can choose to remain anonymous. But that's not an option for multi-state lotteries Powerball and Mega-Millions, Brancato said.

So the winner will have to step forward within a year of the Aug. 15 drawing. Until then, the lottery isn't releasing any details -- and wheedling doesn't work. The lottery won't even let on whether it's a single winner or a group.

When the winner or winners do step forward, they'll probably still be addled.

"It is all so overwhelming for people," Brancato said. "They're sort of at a loss on a lot of fronts. ... It's really hard to grasp what has happened to you."

The folks at Michigan Lottery have seen their share of dazed looks. But they try to set new winners on the right road.

"When we hear from a winner, certainly with a prize of this magnitude, we always suggest they might want to talk to a financial advisor or an accountant."

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