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Powerball winner and Florida public records laws

The Powerball winner who bought a ticket at Royal Palm Beach hasn't come forward yet, but because it falls under Florida Lottery rules, we're sure to eventually find out the person's name.

After Powerball's last big hit, $260 million June 2 in Ohio, the winner chose to remain anonymous, setting up a blind trust through a lawyer. That's legal in Ohio.

Florida law doesn't allow that. Which means whoever bought the winning $73.8 Powerball ticket Saturday at a Publix in Royal Palm Beach can be gleaned via public record.

In Florida, a winner cannot claim a prize in the name of a legal entity such as a blind trust. Although lottery prizes can be claimed in the name of a trust (by the trustee), the Florida Lottery requires that a copy of the trust document be filed with the claim.

The names of all beneficiaries of such Trusts are considered public records and are disclosed in the news release issued by the Lottery.

"This is done in order to maintain public confidence in the integrity of Lottery operations and provides proof that the Lottery is not concealing the identity of interested parties," says the Lottery's Barreiros, communications director. It's also normal that big winners take a few days to claim their jackpot, lining up attorneys and other matters, Barreiros said.

The numbers drawn Saturday night were: 20-21-27-28-56, with a Powerball of 4. The jackpot is $73.8 million. Powerball used the number $72 million as a pre-drawing estimate, then gave the updated figure after it tallied up the actual number of tickets sold.

It'll be the second winner in Florida overall. On Oct. 3, 2009, Orlando's Dr. William Steele hit for $189 million, the first winner since the state picked up Powerball in January 2009. A total of 44 lotteries (42 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. Virgin Islands) sell Powerball tickets.

For all the other games, check out our lottery winning numbers page.

Categories: Lottery (235)

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Maybe you've made the right play, maybe you haven't. Your heart speeds up, your stomach rumbles.

That's why it's called gambling.

ACTION is a view of the numbers, the psychology and the flavor of gambling here in South Florida, through our lens.

We do have one sure bet. There's something here for you.

NICK SORTAL began playing 3-card "gut" and "Indian poker" on high school band trips, moved on to "night baseball" and "pass the trash" during a Dr. Pepper-infused midnight game in the 1980s at the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, and now play in a regular neighborhood Hold 'Em game in Plantation. I have been given the assignment of writing about the gambling life in South Florida casinos for the Sun-Sentinel...which means sitting around watching poker on TV now counts as research.
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