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Ohio Mega Millions lottery winner claims prize anonymously

Jun 1, 2009, 8:15 am

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Mega Millions

The owner of a winning Mega Millions ticket claimed their prize Friday.

But the identity of the winner won't be made public after two attorneys claimed the prize on behalf of a blind trust — which Ohio law allows.

Chillicothe attorney Deborah Barrington and Columbus attorney Ronald Rowland, cotrustees of The Ross County Beneficiary Trust, claimed the $75.6 million prize for the winner at the Ohio Lottery's offices in Cleveland.

The winner had 180 days in which to claim the prize, but waited less than a month from the May 1 drawing.

The holder of the Chillicothe ticket chose the cash option, valued at $46.9 million before federal and state taxes. After taxes, the winner will receive about $32.4 million.

The ticket was sold at Shawnee Lanes in Chillicothe, which earned a $75,000 bonus for selling the ticket.

Owner Walter Highland said he still doesn't know who bought the ticket.

"At least we know someone got the money; I'm glad they came forward," Highland said. "They're smart to do that (remain anonymous); it's their privilege, and I'd probably do the same thing."

The $75.6 million prize was the Ohio share of the $227 million Mega Millions Jackpot drawing on May 1. Other winning tickets sold in Virginia and California already have been claimed.

According to the Ohio Lottery, the Chillicothe winner was Ohio's fourth Mega Millions winner since May 2008.

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