Someone who bought a Powerball lottery ticket in Boise, Idaho over the weekend has won a $220.3 million jackpot, the 10th-largest jackpot ever awarded by the multistate lottery, officials said yesterday.
But if they want to spend any of it over the holiday weekend, they're going to have to borrow it from their buddies.
"We have not even heard from them, and I'm leaving the office at 4 p.m.," Idaho Lottery spokeswoman Patricia Wellman said late yesterday afternoon. "But based on what he won, he might get a loan."
The ticket was sold at Jacksons Food Store on Orchard Street, a central city neighborhood near the freeway.
It is the same store that sold an $87 million winning ticket about 10 years ago to Boise resident Pam Hiatt. And earlier this week, another winner claimed a 100 thousand dollar prize from a Jacksons in Pocatello.
All these winning tickets are proving to be good publicity for the convenience store chain. "We always like to see our customers win, obviously. It draws in more customers to buy the lottery from us," said district manager Deverie Tye.
Nobody had stepped forward to claim the prize by late yesterday afternoon, and the lottery office will be closed today in observance of Memorial Day, Wellman said.
She said lottery winners usually show up quickly with the winning ticket in hand. But because of the holiday, the winner could be out in the backcountry, sleeping in a tent.
Not only has the winner not come forward, but Simmons says it's hard to tell if that person is even from Idaho. "It could be somebody from Utah, somebody from Oregon."
This weekend's winning ticket of $220 million makes it the largest lottery jackpot ever in Idaho.
There has been a spate of lottery winnings in Idaho recently. In February, 22-year-old Eric Kyle of Boise won $18.7 million in the Powerball. Earlier this month, eight employees at the Wood River Journal in Hailey matched four of five numbers to win a $100,000 prize.
But before the winner steps forward to claim their prize, Simmons has some words of advice. "Get yourself a lawyer, get yourself an accountant, get yourself a good financial adviser."
The winner must decide whether to take the money over 30 payments of $7.4 million a year or cash the winnings out with a lump sum payment of $125.3 million, state lottery officials said in a prepared statement.
The Jacksons store will receive a $50,000 bonus, and the state of Idaho will receive a $10 million windfall.
"The first thing the winner should do is sign the back of the ticket," Lottery Director Roger Simmons said. After putting the ticket in a safe place and calling an attorney, an accountant and a financial adviser, "the winner probably should consider changing their phone number," Simmons said.
Powerball is played in 29 states and territories.
The winning ticket matched all five numbers and the Powerball to win Saturday's drawing. The numbers were: 39-24-05-28-07, with Powerball 36; Power Play 04.
Lottery spokeswoman Sue Dooley said 29 more people matched all five numbers. Those tickets are worth $100,000. For choosing the Power Play option and matching all five numbers, one winner will get $400,000.