Winner of $447.8-million Powerball jackpot has yet to come forward

A 2-buck gamble paid off handsomely for one lucky Powerball player this weekend, but the winner of the $447.8-million jackpot has yet to come forward, lottery officials said Monday.

“We will not know who has won until the ticket is claimed,” the California Lottery said in a prepared statement.

“We strongly encourage any Lottery winners to immediately sign the back of your ticket in ink, put it somewhere safe that you will remember and claim as soon as possible,” the lottery said.

Although the prize remains unclaimed, the retailer who sold the winning ticket was awarded a $1-million "retailer bonus."

At 11:45 a.m. Monday, Sun City's Marietta Liquor and Deli on Bradley Road was presented with a bonus check by members of the California Lottery executive staff and corporate communications representatives.

"It's an incredible, incredible feeling to be a part of this," said Matthew Alberre, the shop owner’s son.

Every retailer that sells a winning Powerball ticket receives half of 1% of the jackpot total, up to $1 million.

The jackpot is the seventh largest in Powerball history and the 10th largest lottery prize in U.S. history.

Odds of winning the Powerball are 1 in 292.2 million. Until Saturday's winner, no one had matched all six Powerball numbers since April 1.

Speculation is mounting as to who the winner is and when he or she will come forward. But with an onslaught of media attention all but guaranteed for the would-be millionaire, he or she may be sorting out affairs before raising their hand.

"We're happy to help this winner start their new life as multimillionaires," said Lottery Deputy Director of Corporate Communications Russ Lopez. He cautioned the winner to interview attorneys, tax accountants, estate planners and investment advisors.

"Winning the lottery should never be a nightmare," continued Lopez. "Winning the lottery should not be the worst thing to ever happen to your life. It should be an amazing experience.”

The estimated $447.8-million prize is based on the winner choosing an annuity to be paid out over 29 years. If the winner chooses to receive the jackpot in cash, it would pay out to about $279.1 million before taxes.

The lucky numbers drawn Saturday night were 20-26-32-38-58, and the Powerball number was 3.

sonaiya.kelley@latimes.com

Twitter: @sonaiyak

 


UPDATES:

12:30 p.m.: This article was updated with comments from Alberre and Lopez.

This article was originally published at 11:35 a.m.

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