By DAVID PITT, Associated Press
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Powerball ticket sold at a Cedar Rapids grocery store this week is worth $241 million, but whoever bought it has yet to claim the jackpot, Iowa lottery officials said Thursday.
The ticket, the state's biggest lottery winner to date, was sold at a Hy-Vee on Edgewood Road in Cedar Rapids. Store Director Jamie Franck was presented Thursday with the $10,000 bonus check the store receives for selling the winning ticket.
"I'm just hoping it was one of those customers that come in every single day or every single week making their purchases just thinking maybe today's the day," Franck said at a lottery news conference. "And this might be their lucky day that they get to find out that they're a multimillionaire."
Franck said the store's bonus will go toward its bottom line and, because Hy-Vee is an employee-owned company, employees also will see some of it in their own bonus checks.
The lottery terminal that printed the winning ticket had sold 692 plays for Wednesday night's drawing, said lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer. The winning ticket — matching the numbers of 7, 10, 14, 33 and 57, plus the Powerball number of 18 — beats the odds of 175 million to one to win, she said.
It is the seventh ticket sold in Iowa to win the Powerball jackpot. Until this week, the most recent was a Fort Dodge couple who claimed a $200.8 million jackpot in October 2006.
Iowa Lottery Chief Executive Officer Terry Rich said lottery officials encourage jackpot winners to consult financial or legal advisers before claiming such a big prize, and he pointed out that the identity of winners is public information.
"This truly is a life-changing amount of money and we want our winners to have the information they'll need as they make their decisions," he said in the statement. "Whoever has the winning ticket should sign it immediately if they haven't already done so for safe keeping."
Rich also said the winner should keep the ticket in a secure place until presenting it to claim the jackpot.
If the ticket holder chooses to take a lump sum payout, the total will be $160.3 million before taxes. After taxes, a little more than $112 million. If the winner chooses an annuity option, payments over 30 years will total $241 million before taxes.
The amount is the 15th largest Powerball jackpot won to date.
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