Well sort of. A lawyer representing a D.C. couple has come forward to claim the $144 million Powerball jackpot won on April 8. Apparently a lawyer got in touch with lottery officials claiming to represent the mystery couple. But lottery officials would prefer to have the mystery couple claim their prize in person so they can have a big celebration.
By Petula Dvorak and Nikita Stewart
Washington Post Staff Writers
A D.C. couple has at last come forward to claim the city’s largest Powerball lottery win ever, a $144 million jackpot won more than three weeks ago. But we may never know the identity of the lucky winners, who are exploring legal avenues to protect their anonymity.
“An attorney got in touch with us, and we’re pretty legit on this one,” said D.C. Lottery spokeswoman Athena Hernandez.
The couple purchased the ticket at the new Giant grocery store on Alabama Avenue in Southeast Washington. The April 8 drawing verified where the winning ticket was bought, but no one knew who bought it. For weeks, the city has been abuzz with talk of who the nation’s newest multimillionaires might be.
An attorney finally got in touch with the lottery office this week to claim the winnings on behalf of his clients. Hernandez said the money will be handed over at 11 a.m. on Monday, but the lottery commission and the attorney are still wrangling with details about the handover.
“They physically may not come,” Hernandez said. The attorney said his clients want to remain anonymous and are trying to have him claim the prize for them.
This is not necessarily what a lottery commission wants. They love the big smile, the press conference, the giant check and dreams made palpable in the form of a real person everyone can relate to.
But in many cases, the winners have formed trusts and claimed the prize as an entity, concealing their identities. Attorneys for the D.C. Lottery are working with the winners’ attorney to try and negotiate for their appearance, she said. “We’re trying hard to get them there,” Hernandez said.
You know what? I don’t blame the couple for remaining anonymous. In these trying times who wants the whole world to know you’re $144 million dollars richer. Can you imagine the long lost relatives coming out of the woodwork begging for money? Or just regular folks and organizations having their hands out begging for money or donations. Forming a trust and claiming the prize as an entity is probably the best way to go. If you check out the winners page at the Powerball website you’ll see that a few of the previous jackpot winners have formed a trust or L.L.C’s to claim their prize so they could remain anonymous.
Anyway congrats to the mystery couple.