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Idaho Lottery insists that Powerball winner reveal identity

Jun 17, 2005, 10:24 am

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The 33-year-old Idaho man who won a $220.3 million Powerball lottery jackpot Memorial Day weekend came out of hiding Thursday after the Idaho Lottery refused his request for anonymity.

Brad Duke, a regional fitness director for a chain of health clubs and and unmarried former Boise State University pole-vaulter whose garage contains five mountain bikes, chose to take a one-time lump sum payment of $125.3 million, rather than the 30 annual installments of $7.4 million. That works out to approximately $85 million after taxes.

He initially asked Idaho Lottery Commission officials for complete anonymity.

"It would have been nice for me to take care of my family without making it a big thing in their lives, but we all came to the realization that would be impossible, so if that's the way it's going to be let's have fun with it," he said prior to traveling to New York City for a series of television talk show appearances.

Idaho Lottery Commission officials had denied his request to remain anonymous, arguing that state law and the integrity of the lottery required that his name be made public to show he had no ties to lottery employees or vendors.

Idaho Lottery Director Roger Simmons said Duke's winning ticket was verified and processed Thursday and the check is on its way.

"He doesn't have the money yet, since it takes a few days for the wire transfer to occur," he said. The state of Idaho will receive an immediate $10 million boost to income tax revenues as a result of Duke's win, while the convenience store where he bought the ticket will receive $50,000.

Duke shared the story of his new-found fortune with his family on Sunday, when he persuaded them to meet in Sun Valley to hear the news.

"He's got a pretty dynamic way about him where his goal always was to be a millionaire and retire by the time he was 40," Duke's sister, Patti, said Thursday. "He's going to hit that a little earlier now."

Other than scouting around for a high-end racing bicycle, Duke said he has no plans for any large purchases.

He also has no marriage plans or prospects.

"Let's say I'm waiting for Angelina Jolie to call," he said. "If the right scenario presents itself, that's great but I'm not trying to go there right now because my goal is get through this first phase with a clear head."

His jackpot is the second-largest single-ticket win in the history of Powerball, a Des Moines, Iowa-based lottery played in 27 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. He bought the winning ticket May 28 at a Boise convenience store using a series of numbers he had played periodically the past four years.

But Duke didn't realize he won until Memorial Day.

"After I spent what seemed like an hour staring at that screen from one centimeter away, I figured I better go to the lottery commission office," he said. "But my vehicle was out of gas."

At a nearby gas station, he asked a clerk to run his lottery ticket through a vending machine to verify it. When the clerk began screaming and dancing when the ticket was validated as a winner, Duke grabbed the ticket and quickly drove to Idaho Lottery Commission headquarters.

"So there I was, standing on the steps with a ticket in my hand worth $220 million, and they were closed because it was Memorial Day," he said. "Then it dawned on me that I may not have paid for my gas."

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