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Florida Lottery prepares for $590 million Powerball winner

1:24 PM, May 22, 2013   |    comments
This is the lobby of the Florida Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee where the Powerball winner will go to claim the jackpot.
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- The world is still waiting to hear who bought that winning $590 million Powerball ticket in Zephyrhills last Saturday.

The winner is required under Florida law to redeem the ticket at Lottery headquarters in Tallahassee. Lottery Secretary Cynthia O'Connell says the agency is prepared to help the person through the claims process.

When the winner walks into Lottery headquarters, he or she will be greeted at the Customer Service counter.

There's a Winners' Reception Center nearby where the person would be able to fill out all the forms to claim the jackpot.

The papers include a winner claim form with name, address and social security number.

Another form includes eight security verification questions, such as "What is your mother's maiden name," "What is your favorite color," and "How many brothers and sisters do you have?"

The winner must also decide whether to take the lump-sum cash payment of $370 million or the annuity payment worth $590 million.

O'Connell said Florida law also requires that the winner's name be made public when he or she claims the prize.

"By statute, Florida law, the winner is not anonymous. We must publish their name and address. But we will encourage them to share their joy with the public through a press conference, a controlled environment so that they can communicate their story and then they'll have that done once they do that one press conference."

O'Connell said the Lottery has a proprietary procedure to verify the validity of the winning ticket so she can't disclose details, but she said that system will prove it's the right ticket.

"From that point, the individual or entity will go through a process of completing a winner claim form and they'll also sign an affidavit verifying that they are the individual they say they are. And at the conclusion of that, we'll go through the wiring instructions for them in terms of wiring their money, in terms of the lump-sum cash payout or the annuity option, how that will work. Then finally our communications people will work with them giving them tips about philanthropy opportunities for them should they wish to do that with some of their winnings and it'll be a great day for them."

The winner will have the option of having a picture taken or participating in a press conference at the Lottery headquarters.

Dave Heller

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