NATIONAL NEWS

Jackpot claimed: What AP knows so far about the $1.3 billion Powerball win

Apr 8, 2024, 11:17 AM | Updated: Apr 9, 2024, 3:16 pm

Someone in Oregon has claimed the $1.3 billion Powerball jackpot won last weekend, which is the eighth-largest lottery prize in U.S. history.

Should the winner of Sunday’s drawing forgo the rarely claimed option of a payout over 30 years, the lump-sum before taxes would be $621 million. Federal and state taxes will further shrink their haul.

Here’s what we know about the win so far:

WHO WON?

Oregon Lottery officials say someone came forward Monday to claim the prize and that they’re working to verify the win. Announcing the winner will take a couple weeks, Oregon Lottery spokesperson Melanie Mesaros said at a news conference Tuesday.

The ticket that matched all six numbers was sold at a Plaid Pantry convenience store in northeastern Portland, an area of modest homes, the city’s main airport and a golf course.

For selling the winning ticket, managers of the Plaid Pantry location will share a $100,000 bonus. A store’s other employees typically get a cut of lottery prize bonus payments too, said Jonathan Polonsky, CEO and president of Plaid Pantry.

Some states allow lottery winners to remain anonymous, which can help them avoid requests for cash from friends, strangers and creditors. But Oregon isn’t one of them and requires winners to come forward within a year to claim their prizes.

In California, the lottery last month revealed the name of one of the winners of the second-biggest Powerball jackpot — a $1.8 billion prize that was drawn last fall.

Oregon has had five previous Powerball jackpot winners, including two families who shared a $340 million prize in 2005.

LONG TIME COMING

The odds of winning a Powerball drawing are 1 in 292 million, and no one had won one since Jan. 1. The 41 consecutive drawings without a winner until Sunday tied the game’s two longest droughts ever, which happened in 2021 and 2022, according to the lottery.

The drawing was supposed to happen Saturday, but it didn’t happen until early Sunday because Powerball needed more time for one jurisdiction to complete a pre-drawing computer verification of every ticket sold.

The odds of winning are so small that a person is much more likely to get struck by lightning at some point than to win a Powerball or Mega Millions jackpot even if they played every drawing of both for 80 years. Yet with so many people putting down money for a chance at life-changing wealth, someone eventually wins.

HOW BIG IS THE JACKPOT?

It’s the eighth-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history and the fourth-largest Powerball win — the other four were Mega Millions prizes. The largest jackpot win was a $2 billion Powerball prize sold to a man who bought the ticket in California in 2022.

Every state except Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands takes part in the two lotteries, which are run by the Multi-State Lottery Association.

So how much is $1.3 billion?

If the winner got to take home the entire jackpot in a single payout and didn’t have to pay taxes, it would still be nowhere near the $227 billion net worth of the world’s richest person, Elon Musk. But it would put the winner among the fewer than 800 billionaires in the U.S.

It would also be bigger than the gross domestic product of the Caribbean nations of Dominica, Grenada, and St. Kitts and Nevis. And it would be enough to buy certain professional hockey teams and would be more than Taylor Swift grossed on her recent record-breaking tour.

BUT TAXES, MAN

They’re as inevitable as winning the Powerball jackpot is not.

Even after taxes — 24% federal and 8% Oregon — the winner’s lump-sum payment would top $400 million, or the minimum cost to rebuild the recently destroyed Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore.

For somebody, last weekend’s win is a bridge to a new life.

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Jackpot claimed: What AP knows so far about the $1.3 billion Powerball win