US awaits record lottery winner

BY: Isaac Yeboah

A small Florida city is waiting for the winner of the largest Powerball lottery jackpot in US history, more than $590m (£388m), to come forward. Officials said one winning ticket was sold in a supermarket in Zephyrhills, home to about 13,000 people.

Florida lottery winners cannot stay anonymous, but have up to 60 days to claim the prize.

Forty-two US states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands participate in the Powerball lottery.

The numbers drawn in the multi-state lottery on Saturday night were 10, 13, 14, 22, 52, with the Powerball 11.

After taxes, the jackpot will bring the winner around $377m.

Zephyrhills, a former farming town 30 miles (48km) north-east of Tampa, is best known around the state for its brand of spring water of the same name.

The winning ticket was sold on Saturday or earlier at a Publix grocery store in the town.

"It didn't click until I came here," resident Sara Jeltis said, gesturing to the half-dozen TV live trucks in the store's car park.

"And I'm like, 'wow I can't believe it, it's shocking!' Out of the whole country, this Publix, in little Zephyrhills would be the winner."

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are one in 175 million, and the jackpot is 12 times the size of Zephyrhills' annual town budget.

As of Monday, no-one had claimed the prize, but Florida lottery officials were not surprised.

"It never happens this quickly," lottery spokesman David Bishop said. "If they know they won, they're going to contact their attorney or an accountant first so they can get their affairs in order."

Source: BBC