A bank teller from northern Idaho has claimed her half of the second largest lottery jackpot in history today, but the country's newest gazillionaire has decided to stay out of the spotlight.
Holly Lahti is the winner of the $190 million Mega Millions pot. She claimed her winning ticket Tuesday, lottery officials said. Lahti has asked the lottery that the location of her town not be identified beyond that it is located in northern Idaho.
"We expect that she will be coming forward shortly," a lottery representative announced at a press conference today. The representative did not want to comment on the winner, but did admit: "Well, when you win $190 million you're pretty excited."
The woman is one of two people to win the $380 million bonanza. She is believed to be a single mother with two children, according to ABC News affiliate KXLY. And, until today, she was a bank teller. She quit her job today, sources told KXLY.
Relatives tell the news station that the winner is "very deserving" of the ticket.
Rumors about who won the second-largest lottery in history have teased the town of Post Falls in northern Idaho where the ticket was purchased. For more than a week, residents of this small city on the Washington border have speculated about the winner.
Lahti bought her winning ticket at Ady's Convenience and Car Wash, which won $50,000 for selling the ticket.
Brad Wilde, manager of Ady's, said that everyone is very happy for Lahti, who asked lottery officials that the name of her hometown remain private.
"She's very sweet. Very down to earth. Just a really nice person. Good head on her shoulders. I think she'll do very well," Wilde told ABC News. "She's taken some time to get things lined up."
Wilde said that he does not know what Lahti, who he said is about 30 years old, will do with her money.
"I hope she stays in town so we can say hi and give her a hug some times," he said.
But he knows the life-changing experience opens a new world for her.
"Maybe there's a place you've always wanted to live and now you can go there," he said.
If Lahti intends to keep a low profile, she is living in the right place.
"If she wants to be left alone, Idaho people respect that, perhaps that's more than any other state," told Jeff Humphrey reporter for KXLY.
Lahti contrasts with her co-winner. Last week the winner of the other half of the bonanza, Jim McCullar, came forward in Ephrata, Wash., to claim his share of the jackpot.
McCullar spent more than 30 minutes regaling a news conference with stories about how he won, other prizes he has won and joking with his wife.
MCuller, 68, and his wife Carolyn live in Ephrata, Wash., a town of fewer than 7,000 people, where he works as a real estate agent.
The jackpot grew to such "mega" dimensions after 15 consecutive drawings that started Nov. 12.