A publicity-shy El Paso man today turned in the winning ticket for last month's $145 million Texas Lotto jackpot on behalf of a partnership.
The Texas Lottery Commission said that Alfredo Ornelas Barragan accepted an after-tax cash payment of $61.9 million on behalf of VOM Enterprises Ltd. and IBO Management Co.
Ornelas arrived with his attorney, Ernesto Pineda, around 10 a.m. and spent most of the day verifying the ticket. Neither man would speak with reporters.
"He's very quiet but eager to have the prize claimed," said Leticia Vasquez, an official with the lottery commission.
Vasquez said Barragan is president of IBO Management, which manages VOM Enterprises.
Previous lottery winners have formed partnerships in an attempt to keep their identities secret. The lottery commission releases the winner's name and hometown but doesn't require winners to speak publicly.
Secretary of State records show that Barragan registered the partnership 10 days after the Lotto drawing.
"We are very happy and thankful for this gift that God has given us," said Ornelas Barragan in a statement released by the lottery commission. "We are very nervous, but with God's help we will be able to make good use of this prize. Thank you very much and God bless those people that have helped through this process."
The winning Lotto Texas ticket was purchased June 19 at a downtown El Paso Chevron station. The station will receive a $500,000 payment.
The winning drawing culminated weeks of excitement and increased sales as the jackpot grew to the second highest single-state jackpot in U.S. history, behind a February 2002 California jackpot of $193 million.
It also was the highest Lotto Texas jackpot in Texas history, after an $85 million pot in March 2001.
"This was a record jackpot for us and a source of great excitement for all our players, and the winner no doubt, said Executive Director Reagan Greer.
"The record jackpot also gave us a record sales week for all products, too, with $122 million worth of tickets sold the week of the June 19 Lotto drawing," Greer said.
Vasquez said the winning partnership requested minimum publicity, and no personal information was available about Ornelas Barragan.
The cash-option payout for the $145 million prize was $82.5 million. That was subject to a 25-percent tax bite, leaving $61.9 million.