A Powerball ticket worth a whopping $241 million was purchased in Iowa at a Cedar Rapids grocery store, but the state's biggest lottery winner ever has yet to come forward to claim the prize.
The victorious numbers in Wednesday's drawing – 7, 10, 14, 33, 57 and Powerball 18 – were bought at a Hy-Vee store in the eastern Iowa city, the second largest in the state. Iowa lottery officials on Thursday urged the winner to keep the ticket in a safe place and to consult a financial adviser before coming forward to claim the jackpot.
"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," Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said in a statement. "Whoever has the winning ticket should sign it immediately if they haven't already done so for safe keeping."
The winning ticket was the seventh in Iowa to win the Powerball prize – and the largest ever in the state's history. The previous record prize was a $200 million jackpot won by a Fort Dodge couple in October 2006.
The winner of Wednesday's lottery – the 15th-largest jackpot in Powerball history – can choose to receive the money in 30 payments over the next 30 years totaling $241 million before taxes or accept an immediate lump sum of $160 million before taxes, with an after-tax total of $112 million. Powerball jackpot prizes have to be claimed at the lottery headquarters in the state capital of Des Moines. Under Iowa law, information about lottery winners is public.
The Fort Dodge couple who collected the 2006 prize said they did not realize they had won until they saw the results of the drawing in the next day's newspaper.
"I held the ticket and Tim read off the numbers and all I could say was, 'Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!'" Kellie Guderian said at the time. "We have been in shock ever since."
Kellie's husband Tim is a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps who served in the Gulf War. The couple said then that they planned to make several charitable donations, pay bills, take a vacation – maybe to Australia – and possibly buy a new car.
For the winner of this week's jackpot, those are just some of the many possibilities that could await them in the future.