Details scarce as 2nd winner in Arizona claims record Powerball prize
Updated 9:27 PM ET
PHOENIX The second winner in last week's record $577.5 million Powerball jackpot is an intelligent and financially-savvy married professional in his 30s who wants to help his community, Arizona Lottery officials announced.
The winner, who opted to take the cash option of $192 million, declined to take part in a news conference scheduled for Friday afternoon in Phoenix and wasn't going to be immediately identified, the lottery said. But officials revealed what they could about one of the winner's in the highest Powerball jackpot in history.
Budget Director Karen Bach and Lottery Director Jeff Hatch-Miller said they spent some "quality time" with the lucky man at a hotel suite in Scottsdale. They wouldn't reveal his job, but said it wasn't "high-level," that he enjoyed his line of work and he planned to continue working. He regularly bought Powerball tickets while living in Pennsylvania, but had only bought two tickets since he and his wife moved to Arizona a year ago.
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He went to the local 4 Sons Food Store in Fountain Hills, northeast of Phoenix, with a $20 bill and asked for $10 worth of tickets. The store clerk tried to convince him to spend the whole $20 bill, but the man said $10 was enough, Bach said. He left the ticket in his car and didn't even check it until the morning after the numbers were announced.
"He and his wife couldn't believe it," Bach said. "They checked the numbers over and over again."
Bach said she didn't know if the couple had children. Adding that he is "very smart and very financially-savvy," she said the winner immediately put together a legal and financial team before approaching the Arizona Lottery. He decided to claim his prize before the end of the year, Bach said, because of uncertainty surrounding the so-called fiscal cliff being debated on by Congress.
The man will be setting up a charitable organization, Hatch-Miller said. "They want to turn this win into something that is truly beneficial for their community."
The unidentified winner later issued a statement that said: "It is difficult to express just how thankful we are for this wonderful gift. We are extremely grateful and feel fortunate to now have an increased ability to support our charities and causes. Obviously, this has been incredibly overwhelming and we have always cherished our privacy."
The statement directed all inquiries to an Arizona law firm, which didn't immediately return a call after business hours Friday.
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A Missouri mechanic and his wife, Mark and Cindy Hill, of Dearborn, Mo., already have claimed their half of the multistate Powerball prize.
The jackpot was the second-largest in U.S. history and set off a nationwide buying frenzy. At one point, tickets were selling at nearly 130,000 a minute.
Before the Nov. 28 drawing, the jackpot had rolled over 16 consecutive times without anyone hitting the jackpot. In a Mega Millions drawing in March, three ticket buyers shared a $656 million jackpot, the largest lottery payout of all time.
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