Powerball winner contacts Michigan Lottery, agency says

Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:22pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - The Michigan Lottery said on Wednesday that the winner of last week's $337 million Powerball jackpot had contacted the agency, but officials were still keeping the winner's identity under wraps.

In a brief statement, the agency said, "details about the prize-winner will not be released until the prize, the third largest in Powerball history, is claimed."

The winner has one year from the August 15 drawing to claim the prize, the agency said.

The single winning ticket was purchased at a Sunoco gas station and convenience store in Lapeer, Michigan, about 60 miles north of Detroit.

The winner has the choice of taking the $337 million jackpot in annual payments over the next 29 years, or as a one-time cash award of $224.66 million, before taxes.

Powerball officials say most winners opt for the one-time payout.

A Powerball ticket costs $2.

In March, three winning tickets shared the largest U.S. lottery jackpot, the $656 million Mega Millions drawing.

(Reporting by James B. Kelleher; Editing by Stacey Joyce)