Oct 11, 2004, 6:00 pm
Someone who bought a Powerball ticket in Delaware has a secret worth $214.7 million dollars.
And as eager as Wayne Lemons is to know who the lucky winner of Saturday's jackpot is, the state lottery director advises that mystery person not to rush into his office.
"Take a very deep breath, take another, wait and talk to the best lawyers and tax advisers, and put the ticket in a safe place," Lemons said Sunday. "We believe in a situation like this with so much money involved, the winner should get good legal and tax advice before they claim it."
He said the Delaware Lottery Office will hold a news conference later in the week. State offices are closed today for Columbus Day so officials won't know which store sold the winning ticket until Tuesday.
All lottery officials knew Sunday was that one ticket - and only one - had landed the Multi-State Lottery Association's Powerball jackpot, which had been accumulating since Aug. 18.
The $214.7 million jackpot ranks as the sixth-largest ever. It's also the fifth-largest ever won by a single lottery ticket.
The winner has a year to claim the prize, Lemons said, and can choose between a 29-year, 30-payment annuity or a cash option of $116.9 million.
The winning numbers were 01, 03, 10, 47, 48, and the Powerball was 27. The Power Play multiplier was 3.
The last time Delaware had a Powerball winner was 2001, when Hockessin teacher Kathleen Kearney and her brother in Pittsburgh won a share of a $294.8 million jackpot. They split the prize with three other winners. That ticket was sold at Books & Tobacco in Hockessin's Lantana Square Shopping Center.
Owner Andy Somers said he'd love it if his store sold the winning ticket a second time.
"After the last big one, we got a big feed of people for a couple weeks," he said.
But he warned players to check their numbers. Don't believe rumors about which store sold the winning ticket and then accidentally throw away a prize, Somers said.
Powerball is played in 27 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. About $660 million was raised through the program for state projects.
And this past week it raised hopes for players who bought more than 68.1 million tickets between Thursday and Saturday.
"This is really a life-changing dvent for someone," Lemons said.
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