- Powerball winners are not allowed to remain anonymous in California.
- Lottery officials don’t typically identify the winner right away.
- A vetting process can take weeks or months.
California law requires the winner of the $2.04 billion Powerball jackpot be identified, but history shows that process isn’t necessarily speedy.
On Tuesday, the California Lottery announced a service station in Altadena, California, sold a single winning ticket matching 10-33-41-47-56, and the Powerball, 10, after the jackpot had long eluded gamblers.
In California, Powerball winners are not allowed to remain anonymous and their names are considered public record. But in the past, it’s taken months for big winners to be publicly identified by lottery officials.
Here’s what to know about when the winner of the massive Powerball jackpot will be identified:
GRAPHICS:Powerball winner will take home millions, but probably not the whole $2.04 billion prize
PREVIOUSLY:Will the historic Powerball winner remain anonymous? Not in California
How long did it take for past winners to be identified in California?
In May, California Lottery announced a Sacramento man had bought a Powerball ticket with numbers that were drawn for the jackpot prize four months prior. A Wisconsin couple had also bought a ticket with the lucky numbers, and the three split the $632.6 million.
Last year, California Lottery announced the identity of a man in Morro Bay, California, two months after his numbers were drawn.
In 2016, it took six months for a California couple to be identified in media reports as two of the winners of the $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot.
Lottery officials said the couple had been “laying low on purpose,” NBC reported in 2016.
Verifying a winner takes time
State lotteries recommend players who believe they have a winning jackpot prize ticket sign the ticket, put it in a safe place, seek financial and legal advice, and contact their state lottery to make an appointment to claim the prize.
California State Lottery has a “rigorous vetting process” to ensure that the person who says they’ve won is a legitimate winner, said spokesperson Carolyn Becker.
The vetting process can take weeks or months before a winner can be declared, according to Becker.
Contributing: Thao Nguyen, USA TODAY; Associated Press.
Story Credit: usatoday.com