Identities of two Powerball lottery winners in N.J. awaited
Aug 9 (Reuters) - Two of three winners of a $448 million Powerball lottery jackpot, who bought their lucky tickets in New Jersey, have still not stepped forward, lottery officials said Friday.
The only confirmed winner is Minnesota engineer Paul White, 45, who came forward on Thursday and said he was so excited about winning he ran around the office of a Minneapolis contracting firm where he works.
The other two tickets that hit the exact combination of Powerball numbers on Wednesday night were sold at a Super Stop & Shop supermarket in South Brunswick, New Jersey, and an Acme Markets store in the New Jersey shore town of Little Egg Harbor, said Judith Drucker, spokeswoman for the New Jersey Lottery.
The Press newspaper in Atlantic City, New Jersey, reported late Thursday that a group of 16 employees from the Ocean County, New Jersey, Vehicle Maintenance Department had the winning ticket from Little Egg Harbor. Drucker said on Friday morning that lottery officials had not confirmed the claim.
"Sorry, but I don't have a clue who these fellows are yet," Drucker said in an email to Reuters.
In Minnesota on Thursday, White, a divorced father of a 16-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter, savored his win at a news conference at lottery headquarters by recalling when he first realized he hit it big.
"It's crazy, I've got to tell you," White said of the moment on Thursday morning at Elliott Contracting in Minneapolis, where he works as a project engineer.
He jumped up and ran around the office, and asked several people to look at the ticket to verify the Powerball number of 32 and numbers 5-25-30-58-59.
He then went to the Minnesota Lottery office, where he chose to take a cash payment of $86 million, or $58.3 million after taxes, from his $149 million share of the total jackpot.
"I have been waiting for this moment all my life," White said, after being asked why he came forward so quickly.
White said he had imagined winning the lottery "so many times in my head." He was joined by Kim VanReese, 45, his partner of about 4-1/2 years; Ron Bowen, his boss; and Bowen's wife, Nancy Bowen, who works at the firm.
"He started the day my boss. He's going to end the day my chauffeur," White joked.
White, who said he had been looking at a used Acura NSX sports car before the jackpot, said he would not leave his employer in a lurch but added: "I don't want to work for anybody else for the rest of my life, I mean for a paycheck."
The odds of winning the jackpot were about one in 175 million.
Asked if he was disappointed that he was splitting the jackpot three ways, White joked, "I think I can get by on it. We will see."
The largest jackpot in history stands at $656 million, won in the Mega Millions lottery in March 2012. That prize was split among winners in Maryland, Kansas and Illinois.
The biggest single-winner Powerball jackpot, of $590.5 million, was claimed in June by an 84-year-old Florida woman who opted for a lump-sum payment of nearly $371 million rather than the 30-year option.
Powerball tickets are sold in 43 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Five states - Kansas, Maryland, Delaware, North Dakota and Ohio - allow the winners to remain anonymous, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. (Additional reporting by Tom Brown in Miami and David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Jeffrey Benkoe)
- North Korea says Kim's powerful uncle dismissed for 'criminal acts'
- Thai PM calls snap election, protesters want power now |
- Protesters fell Lenin statue, tell Ukraine's president 'you're next'
- Storm pushes up U.S. East Coast after deep-freeze in the South
- Venezuela's Maduro to raise pressure on business after local vote