RIFLE — When the winner of Saturday’s $90 million Powerball jackpot comes forward, a lot of people might think, well, if it couldn’t be me, I’m glad that guy won.
Locals who expressed hope that the winner would be from the area will be happy about that aspect of the win — if the word around town proves true.
The person thought around Rifle to be the winner is a local small business owner in his early 50s who graduated from Rifle High School. The man’s Facebook page suggests a solidly middle class life, including a photo of him holding two small dogs in a fenced back yard and another of him apparently walking a young woman down the aisle at a wedding.
Asked by the Post Independent on Tuesday whether he won the biggest lottery prize in Colorado history, the man said he had no comment “at this time.” He returned the call later and said, “tomorrow afternoon,” but was unwilling to explicitly verify that he won.
The winning ticket was sold at the Kum & Go convenience store in north Rifle. Colorado Lottery officials on Monday presented store operators with a bonus check for $50,000 for selling the ticket.
Clerk Theresa Daury sold the ticket, but said she had no idea who bought it from her. The store sells $200 to $300 worth of lottery tickets a day.
The winner must go to one of the four Colorado Lottery claim centers, which are in Grand Junction, Denver, Pueblo and Fort Collins, to present the signed lottery ticket.
The Colorado Lottery is required to release the person’s first name and last initial, the town in which the ticket was purchased, the amount that was won and the game that was played.
The person could choose to have a trust set up and have an attorney claim the prize on their behalf, but that would mean turning the ticket over to the lawyer. Only one person can be deemed the jackpot winner.
“So you’d really want to trust your attorney,” lottery spokeswoman Kelly Tabor said.
Winners may choose a 30-year annuity payment option and receive their first payment immediately, while the rest would be spread over 29 years. If the winner chooses a lump sum payment, he or she (or the winning group) would receive a check for $54.9 million in about three weeks.
The winning numbers for Saturday’s drawing were 3-12-31-34-51, Powerball 24. The odds of matching all the numbers for any given drawing are 1 in 175,223,510.