Lottery winner collects prize early fearing fiscal 'cliff'

 

The uncertainty posed by the looming US fiscal cliff is having an impact on the multimillion-dollar Powerball lottery.
A man who claimed half of the record $587.5 million (£366m) jackpot is
collecting his winnings now rather than wait until next year.


Lottery officials announced yesterday that a married man in his 30s from a wealthy Phoenix suburb has claimed his half of the Powerball jackpot, deciding to collect the winnings now and not next year because of the looming US fiscal cliff.

The man decided to remain anonymous after he bought $10 worth of tickets and kept the winning slip in the visor of his car overnight before realizing he was a multimillionaire.

He gave $20 to the cashier of a Fountain Hills convenience store, and the clerk nudged him to spend the entire amount on tickets. He declined the offer.

After the man and his wife learned of their good fortune, the husband pulled together a team of financial advisers and decided to take all of his share this month to avoid potentially higher taxes in 2013, said Karen Bach, a lottery official.

"He did have concern with the uncertainty with the fiscal cliff in 2013," Bach said, referring to the federal fiscal situation that could result in higher income tax rates.

The man and his lawyer met with lottery officials Friday, and he opted to take the cash option of $192 million (£120m) before taxes. Lottery officials said his wife owns half the prize because Arizona is a community property state.

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

Bach said the man is smart 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. Lottery officials say the man told them he enjoys his job and has no immediate plans to quit.

Lottery officials wouldn't say what he did for a living.

The unidentified winner later issued a statement that said: "It is difficult to express just how thankful we are for this wonderful gift. We are extremely grateful and feel fortunate to now have an increased ability to support our charities and causes. Obviously, this has been incredibly overwhelming and we have always cherished our privacy."

The statement directed all inquiries to an Arizona law firm, which didn't immediately return a call after business hours Friday.

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

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

Before the draw on 28 November, 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 (£410m) jackpot, the largest lottery payout of all time.

Lottery officials said the Arizona couple moved from Pennsylvania a year ago. While in Pennsylvania, the couple regularly played the lottery but had done so only twice since moving to Arizona, Bach said.

After realizing he had won, the man and his wife spent the weekend "trying to recover from the shock," Bach said.

AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Beverley James: Accounts Payable

£22,000 - £23,000: Beverley James: Are you looking for the opportunity to work...

Beverley James: Accounts Assistant

£30,000: Beverley James: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for a person looki...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower