The $196 million lottery prize for a Mega Millions ticket sold in the Clermont County village of Amelia in May was claimed Friday by a lawyer on behalf of an undisclosed client.
The ticket was submitted for The Anthony Trust, said a spokeswoman for the Ohio Lottery.
The name of the winner is known to Ohio officials, who will check for possible unpaid child support or unpaid state taxes, said Ohio Lottery spokeswoman Marie Kilbane.
An exception to the Ohio Public Records Act means state officials don't have to reveal the identity of the winner if a so-called blind trust is created, Kilbane said.
"Not every state has it," Kilbane said of a procedure for setting up such a trust for lottery winners. "Here in Ohio, it's a way that players can keep their anonymity. It's typically only done for extremely high prize winnings."
The winner opted for 26 annual payments. The first one, for $5.2 million after $2.3 million in federal and state taxes are withheld, should be made within 30 days, Kilbane said.
The winner will then receive $7,538,000 annually for 25 years — before taxes. The amount withheld from those payments could change, Kilbane said.
A winning ticket has been sold in Ohio 11 times since Mega Millions started May 15, 2002, Kilbane said. Seven of those winning tickets were submitted on behalf of trusts.
The address for the May winner's trust was 1900 Fifth Third Center, 511 Walnut St. in Cincinnati, Kilbane said. That's the address of the law firm of Graydon Head & Ritchey.
The attorney representing the trust was Christine A. Buttress, a partner in the law firm. She has practiced law in the area of estate planning for more than 25 years, according to her company resume. Her voice mail said she would be unavailable for several days.
Buttress appeared at the Ohio Lottery's headquarters in Cleveland on Friday morning to complete the claim, Kilbane said.
Amelia Mayor Leroy Ellington said he had no idea who the winner might be or whether the person lived in the village of about 4,000 residents.
"Whoever won, if they did live in the village, my guess is they don't live in the village now — maybe Florida, a place with an ocean breeze," Ellington said.
Whoever bought the ticket will have to continue to pay state taxes on the winnings even if the person doesn't live in Ohio or moves to a state without a personal income tax — such as Florida, said John Kohlstrand, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Taxation.
"It counts as Ohio income," Kohlstrand said.
It shouldn't be an issue that the identity of the winner isn't made public, he said.
"Oh, we'll know," Kohlstrand said. "We're the Tax Department."
Village Council expects to receive a recommendation July 7 from a committee studying whether Amelia should impose a 1 percent earnings tax for those who live or work there, Ellington said.
It had been discussed before the lottery ticket was sold. If such a tax had been in place when the ticket was sold, Amelia could have shared in the winnings, village officials said. Amelia's annual budget is about $2.8 million.
"I'm happy for whoever it is — a bit jealous — but happy for them," Ellington said. "If I won $1 million, I would just run down and claim it. But $196 million, I don't blame them for being discreet."
The ticket was sold May 16 at Main Street Wine & Spirits in Amelia. It was an auto-pick. Among the five chances played was a line with the winning numbers: 6, 11, 39, 46, 47, with Mega Ball 26.
"I'm happy for whoever it was," said Mike Goldstein, who owns the place with his wife, Barby. The store received $100,000 from the Ohio Lottery for selling the ticket.
Goldstein declined to discuss whether the person who bought the winning ticket could be identified on video from store security cameras.
Not that he looked, Goldstein said.
"I'm not a voyeur."