D.C.’s $144 Million Powerball Winner Steps Forward …. Kind of…

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I was happy to hear that D.C. Lottery had the big winner in the $144 million Powerball game, about three weeks ago.

Of course, I played and wanted to win too.

Be that as it may, I didn’t win and an anonymous 82-year old did. He is a widower with 10 children and 47 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He bought the ticket at a local supermarket. He paid $1 that day. And, through a spokesman, he said he had been playing since the lottery began in the District.

He is now the top lottery winner EVER in D.C.

Ok. For 10 years, I worked for the D.C. lottery, promoting and talking to winners.

I spent days at the D.C. Lottery claim center. Here is how it works. In D.C., if you win over $600, I believe, you have to claim at the center, the Frank Reeves Building. There is a small waiting room, a TV (plays the news all the time, all day). People walk in all day. They sign in at the glass booth, say hello to the security guard and take a seat. Then, one by one they are called. They have to provide two sets of i.d.s. Then they pick up their check and leave.

As I said, I spent days sitting in that waiting room talking to winners. When I told them I was doing, some told me to fuck off. Others, were glad to talk about what they won, how they won and how they like to play.

Since I find all lottery winners interesting, I was able to write up their stories for 10 years.

I know the folks at the DC Lottery. I’ve sat down with the Lottery president. I’ve worked with their communications and marketing team. They are good people.

When you win a Powerball jackpot, someone has to come forward to accept the prize. That’s the media part of this. Someone has to come forward as a holder of the winning ticket. [That’s to prove that somebody wins and that it’s not one big fraud…as some people believe lotteries are.]

The D.C. winner chose to remain anonymous, but the only way he could do so and still get his check was to become a corporation.

This he apparently did in the three weeks since his win.

The 82-year-old from Washington D.C. had his lawyer claim the prize on Monday on behalf of a corporation set up to keep his identity secret.

But I’ll tell you something. Despite his efforts, it is more than likely his identity will be revealed at some point. Friends, neighbors…they know.

I wish him good days ahead. He has changed the lives of all his family and from the looks of it, he has quite a large family.

The man’s lawyer David Wilmott said the man has chosen to receive a lump sum payment of $79.6million. Wilmot accepted this on behalf of Rockson LLC, at a news conference at the lottery claim center.

I’ve been to news conferences at the center. I’ve talked to Senator Judd Gregg (New Hampshire) when he won more than $850,000 in 2005.

I’ve talked to lawyers who won $200,000. I’ve talked to thousands of winners just like you and me who won everything from $2,500 to millions.

It’s why I love talking about them to YOU. Understand this…if they can win, so can you. All you have to do is play. Then, if you’re very very lucky…..

GAMES WE PLAY:
The May 6 Powerball game carries a $92 million jackpot.
The May 5 Mega Millions game offers up a $12 million jackpot.
And the big one that has European lottery players going wild: On May 8, the Euro Million jackpot is 123 million euros (translated, that’s about $162 million, in U.S. dollars).

Good luck everyone.

MY BOOK:

What I’ve talked about above. The thousands of winners stories… My book is a collection of some of the funniest, oddest stories about winners. I hope you’ll check it out. Click on the cover to your right. Or go to amazon.com or barnes and noble. In the search box, just type in LOTTERY DANDES.

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