Advice to $90M Powerball winner: Get a lawyer
RIFLE — “Stay calm. Don’t let it overwhelm you. Get a lawyer and don’t make any decisions right away.”
That’s the advice one lottery winner has given to new winners of the Colorado Lottery.
As of Monday morning, the winner of the $90 million Powerball ticket sold at the Kum & Go convenience store in north Rifle had not come forward. It’s the biggest lottery jackpot ever won in Colorado.
“We still don’t know who it is,” said Kelly Tabor, spokesperson for the Colorado Lottery. “Maybe they’re just savoring the moment. But we’re all excited around here. As soon as they present the ticket, the claim center will let us know immediately.”
Lottery officials will be in Rifle at 2 this afternoon to reward one winner: The store where the ticket was sold. The retailer gets a $50,000 bonus.
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.
Lottery officials recommend that winners seek financial advice from a professional they trust before claiming the prize.
“If a claim is over $599, they have to go to a claim center and they’ll sit down and fill out some paperwork,” Tabor said. “They will sign a consent form saying whether or not they want us to release their name to the media and if they want to share their story. We recommend they seek financial counsel, but we do not advise people financially. We do as much as we can to help them, but we can ’t step into that role.”
As part of the Open Records Act, 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 winner of the ticket.
“So, you’d really want to trust your attorney,” Tabor said.
Winners who choose the annuity payment option receive their first payment immediately, with the rest would be spread over 29 years. If the winner chooses the lump sum, 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.
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