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Is a young woman the $590M Powerball winner? | News

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Is a young woman the $590M Powerball winner?

Zephyrhills, FL -- Nearly two weeks have gone by since the record Powerball drawing and the winner of a $590 million jackpot has yet to come forward. But if you believe in rumors then the country's newest multi-millionaire is a young woman in Zephyrhills.

Related: Florida rides the lucky powerball winning streak

"I've heard rumors that it's a young lady that works at Walmart. That's all I know." Said Bob Christian.

"I heard it was a young girl that worked at Walmart," repeated Charlene Inesso.

In fact, multiple people in Zephyrhills told 10 News they heard the same thing. However, officials at the Florida Lottery say they have yet to hear from the winner.

"We've heard a lot of rumors like everybody else, but we've had no calls to the lottery from anyone claiming to be the winner," said lottery Deputy Secretary David Bishop.

Bishop noted the winner has 60 days from the drawing or until July 17th if they want a lump sum cash payout.  He says the winner has until November 14th if they want the cash annuity or jackpot paid out over multiple years.

If no one claims the money after 180 days, Bishop says the money goes back to the organization which controls Powerball.

"And then the money would be distributed to each state that sells Powerball based on the percentage of sales," he said.

With roughly 10% of all Powerball tickets sold in the Sunshine State, that means Florida would get a check of $59 million.

But the fact that the winner hasn't come forward is not a surprise. Experts say waiting to get your house in order is the smart thing to do.

VIDEO: 5 things NOT to do if you win the Powerball jackpot

According to a story in Forbes, lottery winners should keep quiet, see a tax professional to figure out how they want the money paid out and then assemble a team of legal and financial advisers before claiming their prize.

The winning ticket was sold at a Publix grocery store in Zephyrhills, and a corporate spokesperson reiterated that they do not know who the winner is either.

"We are very excited for the winner, or winners, but we are also respectful of the privacy of all of our customers.  There are a lot of rumors speculating the identity of the winner, but we do not know the identity.  Publix does not promote the Lottery.  We offer Lottery sales to our customers for their convenience," said Publix Media and Community Relations Manager Brian West in a statement released Thursday.


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